Frequently asked questions about Howard Smith Wharves | Brisbane City Council

Frequently asked questions about Howard Smith Wharves

""Find out more about the Howard Smith Wharves project by reading the frequently asked questions.


What is Brisbane City Council's vision for Howard Smith Wharves?

The Howard Smith Wharves Revitalisation Project is part of Council’s commitment to restore the last remaining wharf site in Brisbane’s city centre – a unique prospect to develop a world-class urban space.

The 3.43 hectare site presents an opportunity to create a wonderful outdoor space for the people of Brisbane and a fantastic commercial development which will bring more tourists to the city and create jobs.

The mix of commercial and community facilities will re-energise Howard Smith Wharves and ensure this culturally important precinct serves as an inclusive space for residents, workers and tourists alike.


Why has the site not been developed solely as public parkland?

Development of the Howard Smith Wharves site for uses other than parkland will ensure ongoing activation of the site, which is critical in maintaining public and user safety. Development opportunities for restaurants and recreation will also promote use of the site by the community. 

The cost of maintaining the site as public parkland is high. Development opportunities will assist with the long term preservation and maintenance of parkland and open space.

How much of the site will be dedicated to public open space?

In response to community feedback, the revitalisation will see public space and parkland cover 80 per cent of the site.

Why has a hotel been proposed?

A hotel enhances the economic and social viability of the site development. 

A hotel will encourage activity across the site at different times of the day. This will increase public safety and create a consumer market for other operators in the precinct.

Will residential units be included in development of the site?

No. As a result of the community's feedback, there will be no long-term residential development on the site.

What is happening to the heritage buildings on the site?

Careful consideration has been given to the heritage aspects of the site including the wharf buildings and World War II air raid shelters. Sensitive re-use of these buildings was a key condition of any 'expression of interest'.

How much flooding occurred on the site in January 2011?

Shallow flooding (approximately 200-300mm deep) occurred across much of the site in January 2011.

Any new development can easily achieve the required levels of flood immunity.

The ground floor of the hotel and retail development has been designed to be above the flood level for a one in 100 year flood event.

What about pedestrian and cycle access through the site?

Pedestrian and cyclist access from the CBD to the Riverwalk will be maintained while construction is underway and after construction.

More information

For more information on the Howard Smith Wharves Revitalisation Project:

  • email the project team
  • phone the project team during office hours on 1800 669 416
  • phone Council after hours on 07 3403 8888
  • write to:
    Howard Smith Wharves Restoration Project
    Brisbane City Council
    GPO Box 1434
    Brisbane Qld 4001.
12 September 2018