Plans for $37.5M redevelopment of Gold Coast Cultural Precinct

A “splash” public performance venue and arts hotel will rise at Bundall’s Evandale precinct early next year as the Gold Coast cultural precinct goes from dream to reality.

Spectacular new artist impressions of the $37.5 million first stage of the new precinct have been unveiled by the Gold Coast City Council, showing off new features planned for the city’s centre.

The blue and grey “splash” replaces a planned open-air amphitheatre with an enclosed stage, designed to function as a piece of public art.

The first stage of the development will be funded from the sale of unwanted council land assets.

Evandale Lake will be expanded to include swimming lanes, a dock and beach facilities, with a new ferry terminal to be built on the Nerang River.

Stage one’s features will include:

● A versatile outdoor space, known as “the splash”.

● A riverside hub which will include a transitional art ­gallery and civic space.

● Artwork across the precinct.

Demolition of the existing council headquarters is expected to begin before the end of the year, with construction to start in early 2016.

The precinct is set to open in early 2018 and will be a major Commonwealth Games venue, with coverage of the international event likely to be screened to the public from the splash.

Mayor Tom Tate, who promised to build the precinct in 2012, said the development would completed in stages to reduce the financial burden on the city’s $1.1 billion budget.

“The strategy of this arts and theatre complex is to have the outdoor experience ready for the 2018 Commonwealth Games,” he said.

“The budget for it is there and it is going to happen and we will be ready to add this ­additional infrastructure to the city. It is a signature project and the plan has been set up to be done in stages so when it is affordable, we will progress.

“As you come down Bundall Rd you will not miss the arts precinct.”

It is expected to take between 10 and 15 years to complete.

The site’s multicoloured arts tower will be the centrepiece but will be built during a future stage.

Up to six high-rises could also be erected around the edges of Evandale which are expected to range from hotels and residential accommodation to commercial use.

Evandale’s famous St Margaret’s Chapel will be relocated from the northern end of the site to a new waterside location on the southern tip of the precinct near riverfront dining ­facilities which will be available for receptions.

The new-look precinct was welcomed by Friends of the Arts Centre Gold Coast.

President David Huddy called the proposal “bold and visionary” which would be of “immense importance” to the Gold Coast and arts communities.

“The proposed new arts centre is a major community project which will meet the needs of the city both for cultural activities and for a community centre the Gold Coast currently lacks,” he said.

“Plans to have part this project completed in time for the Games will … allow us to present ourselves to the world as a mature city.”

A multistorey carpark will be built on the corner of Bundall Rd and Crombie Ave while the Arts Centre Gold Coast will be drastically expanded to include a range of new facilities including three theatres and cinemas. The completion of stage one will be the realisation of more than 30 years of plans to build a cultural precinct, something which was first proposed in the mid-1980s.

Former mayors Denis O’Connell, Ray Stevens and Ron Clarke all attempted to make the idea a reality during their time in public office.

 

 

 

 

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Plans for $37.5M redevelopment of Gold Coast Cultural Precinct  – Gold Coast Bulletin February 18, 2015