Toowoomba's $11b development boom
MAYOR Paul Antonio says Toowoomba is experiencing an unprecedented development boom.
"This is the result of recognition by the federal and state governments about the important role we play in the Queensland economy coupled with significant private investment," he said.
"As a major service centre to the surrounding rich agricultural area and the burgeoning Surat Basin, Toowoomba is well-placed to become a real power-house of the Queensland economy.
"The region's future has never looked brighter.
"The total current development spend for the Toowoomba region is in excess of $11 billion including the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing (biggest inland road project in Australia), Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport and Wellcamp Business Park, transport network upgrades and the Grand Central shopping centre redevelopment.
"This is a very exciting time to live in Toowoomba."
AIRPORT general manager Phil Gregory said the project was still on track to open on November 17.
He said construction of the terminal would be finished by the end of this month.
"Workers are currently planting trees and doing landscaping around the terminals.
"The car park around the terminal will be staged, when we go operational only stage one of the car park will be completed.
"Over the coming months more and more car parks will become available.
"We'll have long term and short term parking available.
"All with security camera coverage.
"In regards to the Wellcamp business park, we still have some work to do in developing that, however our focus has been on getting the airport up and running.
"Once that happens you'll see Wellcamp Business Park developing into a five-star development in the coming months."
KIM Taylor from Sanctuary Rise, a new residential land estate, said the development was progressing very strongly.
"We have now completely sold out of stages one and two and we are about to release stage three.
"We have six stages altogether.
"We have sold 147 allotments and we have over 220 names waiting to purchase stage three which we only have 67 lots - so we have a bit of a problem.
"We have more buyers than blocks, it's a good problem to have."
A CHURCH on Margaret St is being redeveloped into a 74-room hotel by construction company FK Gardner and Sons
A representative from Quest Serviced Apartments, which signed on for a long-term tenancy in the building, said the development on Margaret St was still on track for an anticipated opening in June 2015.
"The weather to date has been favourable, therefore there have been no delays for inclement weather or other potential construction issues.
"It has been greatly rewarding for the FK Gardner and Sons team to work with the pre-existing Church of Christ building on Margaret St, which has been incorporated into the design."
The building will include 74 individual units and will be about 26 metres high.
Toowoomba Grammar School
TOOWOOMBA Grammar School is continuing to expand its student accommodation facilities.
Headmaster Peter Hauser said: "Toowoomba Grammar School currently has two major buildings being constructed.
"Both buildings are to accommodate boarding students and to enable existing boarding houses to be converted to art and drama studios and an industrial design and technology and robotics centre."
One of the buildings is to be completed next month and the second in November 2015.
It is a multi-million dollar project.
St Andrew's Hospital
A TOTAL of $9.2 million is being spent to build three projects at St Andrew's Hospital which includes the construction of an Australia-first theatre.
"We are expanding the nuclear medicine department because of increases in volumes," St Andrew's Hospital CEO Ray Fairweather said.
"We're also installing a positron emission tomography CT scanner which costs between $1-2 million dollars."
The building cost of that project is $3.5 million and will be completed in July 2015.
The second project includes the expansion of the day hospital and the recovery wards.
"Due to increases in volumes of surgery, we're doubling the size of our recovery ward and we're adding in two additional operating theatres, to bring the number to seven," Mr Fairweather said.
That project's cost is $5 million and the expected completion date is July 2015.
Engineering services manager Kenn Zerner said the "blue theatre" was particularly special.
"The new Olympus Endoalpha theatre is fully glassed, both for the aesthetic look and for infection control," he said.
"The glass comes from Germany and will be delivered in the first week of December, for installation in the third week of January 2015.
"It will be a 3D integrated theatre that can stream operations around the world.
"The theatre will be the first to be built in Australia."
The final project is car parking, which Mr Fairweather said was a big issue.
"We recently purchased a number of properties nearby and we've taken the houses out and we're going to develop 42 car parks, with room for more later."
THE walls of the new West-Star Motors showrooms have been erected on land beside Toowoomba Hyundai, with a grand opening expected in March next year.
West Star Motors general manager Ted Edwards said the service department was in its final fit out.
"We should be able to occupy the new service department in late November," he said.
Mr Edwards said the showrooms were expected to be completed in February next year.
Julia St carpark
A SHORT-TERM car park will be in place at the old TAFE site in Julia St by the end of the year as part of Toowoomba Regional Council plans to provide more immediate parking options in the CBD.
Outer Circulating Road
TOOWOOMBA Regional Council acting infrastructure services committee chairman Cr Chris Tait said work was progressing on the Outer Circulating Road Victoria St extension project.
The project involves extending Victoria St from Russell St to Ruthven St at Chalk Dr. This will form the final stage of the outer circulating road which will allow motorists to travel around the inner city without having to use the Ruthven and Margaret Sts intersection.
It will provide significant improvements to traffic efficiency.
The complex construction project involves technically challenging work, including sheet and bored piling and building a bridge and roadway on a very constrained site.
The main contractor for the project is Probuild Civil.
The focus of work at present includes constructing the new three-span bridge over the confluence of West and East Cks and upgrading the West Ck channel.
A 400-tonne super lift crane is being used to place concrete girders which range in length from 14 metres to 32 metres and weigh up to 60 tonnes.
In a significant milestone for the project, the first girder was placed on October 3
Works in the West Ck section of the project site involve construction of retaining walls and upgrades to the channel which will help improve flood mitigation.
Once the new bridge has been completed, a four-lane roadway will be constructed over the top extending Victoria St from Russell St to Ruthven St at Chalk Dr.
The recent Russell St culvert upgrade, which has doubled the capacity of the old structure, will provide significant flood mitigation benefits.
It has aimed to have the project completed by Christmas, but there are technical challenges involved.
QIC Grand Central and Gardentown redevelopment
PRELIMINARY works for the proposed development have commenced and QIC has appointed a preferred building contractor, Probuild, to assist the design team to undertake final detailed planning and design.
"As part of the site establishment works Probuild has erected fencing around areas of the site and established their offices," managing director of QIC Global Real Estate Steven Leigh said.
"The demolition of the former council library building and car park, as well as the small office building on the corner of Little and Duggan Sts, commenced on Monday, September 22.
"We anticipate these demolition works to the library, library car park and the small office building to be completed by early-November 2014.
"Detailed construction management plans are in place to ensure the works are staged to minimise impacts on the general public, local businesses and neighbours.
"We have been advised by Probuild that all works are being undertaken in compliance with the council approvals and requirements, which include stipulations for dust and noise management, and will be carried out in accordance with strict safety and environmental regulations.
"Probuild has also advised they will be taking all possible steps to minimise dust, including constructing dust suppression hoardings around the perimeter of the site and wetting work areas down.
"As part of these preliminary works we have engaged with the surrounding local businesses and organisations to keep them informed of Probuild's progress," Mr Leigh said.
Mr Leigh said the preliminary works were progressing well, and that QIC looked forward to announcing the proposed commencement of the development in the near future.