Howard Smith Wharves Revitalisation Project

In 2013, Brisbane City Council invited the development industry to submit Requests for Proposals (RFP) to revitalise the Howard Smith Wharves (HSW) site as a world-class riverfront destination.

Following an extensive evaluation process, Council announced in 2014 the HSW Nominees, led by Adam Flaskas and Elisha Bickle were selected as the preferred candidate to develop the site. 

The redevelopment of the Howard Smith Wharves will include a new riverside parkland and commercial development, helping to shape Brisbane’s city centre while catering for its growing population and increased visitation.

The 3.43 hectare site will be vibrant, sustainable and iconic following the completion of its revitalisation. It will reactivate and re-energise a culturally important precinct. At its heart, Howard Smith Wharves will provide a high-quality public realm that celebrates its history and prime waterfront location, delivering an inclusive space for residents, workers and visitors alike.

In December 2015, the development application for the design was approved. A notice of appeal was lodged but HSW Nominees engaged with the appellant to resolve their concerns. Since then significant design has been developed and Council is pleased to advise construction started in May 2017.

Council has issued HSW Nominees a construction lease for the site from May 2017 to 2020. HSW Nominees anticipate construction to be completed in late 2018, weather and construction conditions permitting.

Key features

The HSW Nominees will have overall responsibility for the entire site and is responsible for the design and construction of the park and open space areas, while the hotel development and operation will be undertaken by Asian Pacific Group - a company owned by the Deague Group.

Key features of HSW Nominees' proposed design include:

  • a dining, retail and tourism centre utilising the existing heritage listed buildings
  • new public open spaces that may be used for markets and festivals
  • 164 rooms in a 5 star Art Series Hotel
  • a hotel façade that blends into the cliff face with natural tones and textures to keep the iconic Story Bridge as the main focus
  • underground car park for 359 vehicles
  • 33 employee bicycle spaces and a further 50 bicycle spaces for visitors throughout the parkland
  • parkland and public open spaces including lifts linking the site to the top of the cliffs
  • a 1500 square metre exhibition space.

The addition of the 1500 square metre exhibition space will host events such as cultural and food festivals through to restaurants and bars making this an exciting new destination for visitors and residents.

Artist impression of the Howard Smith Wharves

View the Howard Smith Wharves revitalisation project artist impression as a slideshow, or view the photos individually as part of Council's Flickr account.

About the project

HSW Nominees are responsible for the design and construction of the park and open space areas on the site. In December 2015, the development application for the design was approved.  A notice of appeal was lodged with that appeal now resolved.

Council is pleased to advise construction is now scheduled to start May 2017. Construction is anticipated to be completed in 2020, weather and construction conditions permitting.

A major feature of the design is that it is not extensively developed. Not only will 80% of the precinct be dedicated to open public space, but the 1500m2 exhibition space in the centre of the site is on a single level allowing most of the cliffs to be viewed from the river.

The project will incorporate the existing heritage-listed buildings into the redevelopment and the new parkland will also enable a pedestrian and cycle connection through the site to link the city centre with Riverwalk at New Farm.

Restoration projects

Brisbane City Council has undertaken a series of restoration works at the Howard Smith Wharves site, the last remaining wharf site in Brisbane’s city centre. 

Wharf rehabilitation

Council completed construction of the new 170 metre long timber wharf beneath Story Bridge in March 2013. The wharf restoration included structural repairs which make the area safe for public access. The restoration captures the site's history as a working wharf.

Heritage building repairs

Minor repair works to two heritage buildings were completed in February 2011. The remaining wharf buildings are rare evidence of the pre-1940s Port of Brisbane. They have been vacant and derelict for more than 20 years.

The repairs restored the structural integrity of the buildings to prevent further damage.

Cliff stabilisation

The cliffs surrounding the Howard Smith Wharves site have undergone stabilisation to ensure the safety of the public during and after the restoration. It will also protect the five World War II air raid shelters which have been damaged over the years by falling rocks. Stabilisation works were completed in 2010.

More Information

For more information on the Howard Smith Wharves Revitalisation Project:

  • contact Howard Smith Wharves Nominee's via email or phone 07 3177 9955
  • visit the Howard Smith Wharves Nominee's website
  • contact Council during office hours on 1800 669 416 or outside of business hours on 07 3403 8888 or via email
  • write to:

Howard Smith Wharves Revitalisation Project
Brisbane City Council
GPO Box 1434
Brisbane Qld 4001

20 July 2017