The Broadway Hotel on the corner of Logan Rd and Balaclava Street, built in 1890, has been a central institution in the Gabba for nearly 130 years. Originally accommodation, the Hotel has also served as a pub and live music venue. The Hotel has been closed since a fire in 2010. The Hotel and the adjoining Air Raid Shelter, built in 1942, were listed on the Queensland Heritage Register in 1992.
The buildings are considered to have heritage significance due to their historical value, use as a local landmark and for accommodation, aesthetic significance and location. Read the details of the Broadway Hotel's heritage significance >
Majella Property Developers have made an application to redevelop the Broadway Hotel site. This includes partial demolition of the Hotel, and the development of a 26 story residential and commercial tower. New development - when done in keeping with the neighbourhood, and in consultation with local residents - is vital and essential for Woolloongabba. Part of this is preserving what little built heritage we have left in the area, while maintaining current height restrictions to avoid over development, and enriching communities with parks and public meeting places.
Impact of the Development Application
on the Broadway Hotel
Majella Property Developers have applied to redevelop the site. The Development Application (DA) proposes to demolish the existing hotel single storey wing, existing hotel two storey wing, air raid shelter at the rear of the hotel and demolish some internal elements of the three story building. This will make way for a 27 story residential and commercial tower behind the Hotel. The development will have a number of impacts on Hotel and the surrounding neighbourhood. Key concerns include:
- The podium and tower will impact on the aesthetic significance of the Hotel (Criterion E) within a broader setting, with a dominating and imposing 27 story building that does not preserve the building as a landmark in its own right. 27 storeys exceeds the height restrictions included in the Woolloongabba Centre Neighbourhood Plan, of 20 storeys for mixed-use developments. The height of the tower should be significantly reduced to 20 storeys or below.
- The demolition of the single and two story wings, and the air raid shelter would reduce the cultural significance of the site, making future amendments to the Hotel more likely. The Structural Engineering Report note that the single story and two story buildings could both be preserved. As such, there are significant alternative options to demolition. These buildings should be preserved with a more sympathetic easement between the buildings and the proposed tower.
- With the demolition of the one and two story wings, and without efforts to reinstate original elements on the three story building (such as rear verandahs), the view from the back of the building via the laneway will no longer be in keeping with the aesthetic heritage of the building. Along with preserving the adjoining wings, the development should reinstate original elements to preserve aesthetics and function at the back of the Hotel.
- The DA includes excavation for 5 storeys of carparks, with excavation up to the boundary of the Hotel. This proximity is unsafe for the original footings, and a buffer of 1.5 metres or more should be maintained.
- Woolloongabba is facing a severe shortage of open and green space, particularly within the Woolloongabba Core area. The large numbers of people likely to be moving into the Broadway Hotel development will need public green space. The developers should be required to landscape the adjoining carpark (at the front of the hotel) as green space to provide space and amenity to the community.
- Woolloongabba is also facing a severe shortage of affordable housing. A proportion of dwellings within any new development should be allocated as affordable housing by the State Government.
Role of the DILGP
The State Assessment and Referral Agency assessors, ‘SARA’ will assess the development against the Heritage Code within the State Development Assessment Provisions (SDAP). The Department will make a decision regarding the heritage impacts by 12 September. The Development Application will then go through the council assessment process.
The State Government’s assessment process does not call for or formally consider public submissions. The Director-General of the Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning will do the final sign-off on whether the department approves or rejects the development. The decision is left with unelected public servants to make subjective decisions regarding Queensland Heritage. It is imperative that our elected State representatives – and particularly Deputy Premier Trad (the Infrastructure and Planning Minister) and Minister Miles (the Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection) – give voice to local residents who are cut out of the process. A lack of engagement will be interpreted as support for the project.
We call on the Brisbane City Council to reject development application A004604175 for the Broadway Hotel site at 85 Logan Road, Woolloongabba, and to insist on a development that fully complies with the city plan, with lower building heights, more open green space and greater respect for the heritage values of the hotel.
We call on the Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, Jackie Trad, and the Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection, Steven Miles, to publicly state their opposition to the current plans for this development and to put in a submission requesting significant changes in line with the community’s expectations.