Riverfront units back on : QM Properties buys St Lucia site, vows to press ahead

LEADING Queensland developer QM Properties has confirmed it has bought a controversial site on an exclusive Brisbane riverfront street and will build a 26-unit residential tower there.

QM confirmed last week that it had bought a site at 160 Macquarie St, in St Lucia, and would proceed with a pre-existing approval for a 26-unit medium-rise residential tower.

Resident Irma Muller said she was told by a real estate agent last week that the house on the site would be demolished within months.

In April, Brisbane City Council knocked back Melbourne-based, former owner Kokoda Properties' controversial plan to build a 15 level, 73-unit tower with six underground levels including car parking.

Council officers cited concerns with excavation, traffic impacts and effects on a huge, heritage-listed fig tree.

Kokoda appealed in the Planning and Environment Court but Council confirmed to Mrs Muller that the company had issued a notice of discontinuance on its appeal, on June 1.

The development is the latest twist in a six-year saga which has seen the height of proposed developments and the number of units grow and grow, while residents' objection rights have shrunk. "We tried to fight against the current application for 26 units in the court but had to withdraw after we ran out of money," Mrs Muller said.

"But we certainly hope this will be better than the previous plan for 73 units."

Councillor Julian Simmonds (Walter Taylor) and state Greens MP for the Indooroopilly - based seat of Maiwar have both spoken out against the Kokoda plan.

QM Properties said: "As a local developer with a 40-year history of delivering quality projects, our plan is to develop the site in line with the current approval."

Resident John Argus said the site was originally only 800sq m, half of which was used as a factory by Alvey Reels, until the Alveys sold to Myer Centre, CBD, developer Michael Brown. It had changed hands several times since then.

Westside News (page 5), Brendan O'Malley, 27th June 2018

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