ONE of the last intact strips of inner-city Brisbane heritage buildings could soon go under the wrecking ball to make way for a temporary off-leash dog park. A group dedicated to preserving Brisbane’s remaining historic buildings has begun an online campaign to save the Bonded Stores buildings in Margaret St from demolition.
Millionaire mining moguls Sam and Paul Chong lodged a demolition application with Brisbane City Council in mid-December.The buildings have texture, character, materials, form and detailing that are attractive and contribute to the late 19th century, early 20th century character of the street and it is sad to see it go down this path. Margaret St contains important history relating to the establishment and development of Brisbane, history that is quickly disappearing.
The Chongs are building a $70 million hotel development in Mary St and own office blocks on Queen and Adelaide Sts. Architect Noel Robinson, who has been engaged by the site owners, said plans were being developed for a major international five star hotel with 300 rooms and about 500 apartments over 60 levels on the site.
The existing buildings had asbestos, they were “structurally unsound and unsustainable” and homeless people were risking their lives trespassing on the site, his firm said in a statement.
“We looked long and hard at how to reuse the facades but the buildings are of such poor quality design and in such a sad state of disrepair that demolition is the only economic option,” Mr Robinson said.
“Not only that, they are not of sufficient quality or heritage value to justify their retention.”
Mr Robinson said the hotel and apartment project would be worth around $500 million when complete.
Demolition approval had been given for previous applications by other developers and he expected demolition to occur within months, so that a “green pocket park” could be ready before the G20 summit.