THE site of the former Gold Coast Hospital in Southport will be reimagined as a residential hub for retirees and students to live side-by-side.
At least eight towers will rise from the $800 million grass field under plans put forward by Developer Property Solutions.
Industry figures say the project will the first of many high-density developments to appear along the light rail, catering for both the city’s ageing population and the lucrative student market.
Dashing expectations of a supertower and shopping complex, the Brisbane-based developers have instead created Queen St Village, an “integrated mixed-use” development featuring high-rises ranging from 12 to 25 storeys.
A retirement community will be spread over two 25 and 21-storey buildings, while smaller towers, from 12-14 levels, will be short-term and student accommodation.
Two residential high-rises of 19 and 17 storeys are also planned, along with a retail precinct, retail complex, cinemas and medical centre.
City Planning boss Cameron Caldwell said similar developments targeting retirees and students would take place along the tram route.
“We will experience further urban renewal along the light rail corridor which will provide new developments like this where people can work and live next to public transport,” he said.
“The heights for this project should give it an urban village feel rather than a mega-tower development.”
Nearly 1000 units are planned across the towers. They will be mostly one and two-bedroom apartments.
The application was filed yesterday and it is understood the developer hopes to begin construction later this year.
Property Solutions yesterday did not respond to requests for comment.
The site falls within the Southport Priority Development Area (PDA) which means the project is likely to be approved by councillors.
But not everyone is happy.
Southport Chamber of Commerce boss Laird Marshall said he was underwhelmed by the project.
“It doesn’t look iconic. It is functional but that’s about it,” he said.
Originally Published: http://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au