17 November 2020

Tender release puts Queanbeyan CBD transformation a step closer

| Michael Weaver
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Artist's impression of Queanbeyan Civic and Cultural Precinct.

Artist’s impression of the Queanbeyan Civic and Cultural Precinct, which will deliver a major facelift in the heart of the town. Image: Supplied.

Another step forward for the central business district of Queanbeyan has been taken with the tender for construction of the $74 million Queanbeyan Civic and Cultural Precinct (QCCP) released.

The precinct is being described as “an essential component of the exciting Queanbeyan CBD transformation” and part of the catalyst for the future shape of the town.

Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council (QPRC) CEO Peter Tegart said council is also on schedule to have its 200 staff members vacate 11 separate buildings and be rehoused in one new building on Crawford Street by late 2022.

The precinct will be constructed on the site of the former council administration building at 257 Crawford Street and into the Lowe Street car park.

The development will have a strong focus on community and cultural purposes, with more than 40 per cent of the precinct comprising community spaces, gallery linkages to The Q and Bicentennial Hall, new basement parking and public domain.

The site includes a head office for council staff, the library, conference meeting rooms, and lettable space for NSW Government agencies, commercial offices and a smart hub.

Artist's impression of Queanbeyan Civic and Cultural Precinct site at night.

Artist’s impression of the Queanbeyan Civic and Cultural Precinct site at night. Image: Supplied.

QPRC Mayor Tim Overall said planning for a refurbished administration building in Queanbeyan has been underway for many years.

“It’s pleasing to see the project reach this significant milestone,” he said.

The precinct will act as the catalyst for further redevelopment in the Queanbeyan CBD, with a number of council-owned properties along Rutledge Street to be sold for future mixed-use developments. Council expects these properties will be offered for sale in early 2021.

“The main goal of council’s CBD Transformation Strategy is to increase activity in the Queanbeyan CBD by attracting more workers and residents,” said Mr Tegart.

“The development of the QCCP will see more than 200 council staff and up to 100 NSW Government staff located in the building, in addition to users of the smart hub, library and other community space.”

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The development application for the QCCP is currently being assessed by the Southern Regional Planning Panel after council provided additional information, as requested by the panel.

An outcome of the assessment is expected in the coming weeks.

The project will be funded by a long-term, low-interest loan, which will be repaid by merger savings, lease income from its tenants and other savings from the disposal of the older buildings currently occupied by staff.

Staff will assess the tenders in early 2021, with a recommendation to be presented to QPRC in February 2021. Providing a tenderer is appointed, construction will start in the months following and be expected to conclude at the end of 2022.

The concept design includes:

  • Two towers (three and five levels above ground and mezzanine, connected to Bicentennial Hall).
  • 6500 square metres of public realm.
  • 1450 square metres of community space.
  • 2050 square metres of commercial space.
  • 4000 square metres of council administration, including shopfront public library space (plus integrating service desk and staff areas into head office).
  • Meeting rooms and breakout spaces (for receptions and conference).
  • Space for government offices (sold as strata).
  • Lettable commercial space (available initially for rental return, then for future growth).
  • Gallery connecting office building to Bicentennial Hall and Q Theatre.
  • Office and public basement parking for 100 cars.
  • Rooftop garden.

Original Article published by Michael Weaver on The RiotACT.

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What an eyesore.

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