Shaping a green city: 40-level ‘rainforest tower’ to be Cross River Rail’s CBD entry

The Cross River Rail entrance at Albert St would have a $750 million mixed use development that its proponent has dubbed a rainforest tower.

Mar 10, 2023, updated Mar 10, 2023
The ground floor view of the planned rainforest tower

The ground floor view of the planned rainforest tower

The Government-owned QIC is the precinct developer for the above-ground Cross River Rail precincts at Albert Street, Boggo Road, Woolloongabba and Roma Street and has submitted the development application to Economic Development Queensland for a project that would be completed in 2027.

Brisbane City Council has no approval role in the project.

Documents show the 40-level project would have an end-of-trip facility and a wellness centre along with retail and office space and plant zones which would mean that when viewed from the street it would appear to be “a subtropical vertical garden”. The roof would also have a garden.

The site is likely to also be a major access point for the Queens Wharf project and QIC claimed that it would also unlock further development at that end of the CBD.

“The Rainforest Tower will capitalise a dynamic arrival experience for the future Albert St Cross River Rail station and its predicted 67,000 daily users and continue Brisbane’s global recognition as a new world city,” the development application documentation states.

The site is a part of the city that was changing rapidly. Documents show there are host of projects either already built or approved for development.

They include the 38-storey Westin Hotel in Mary St, the 90-storey Brisbane Skytower at 222 Margaret St, the Midtown Centre at 155 Charlotte St, a 60-storey residential project on Edward and Elizabeth streets, a 91-storey mixed use development at 240 Margaret St, the Triplets development at 62 Mary, the 91-storey mixed use development underway at 30 Albert St and the Student One project which has already been built on Elizabeth and Charlotte streets.

QIC Cross River Rail precincts director Chris Brown said the development would be a landmark and a “city-shaping destination”.

The Albert St station that is part of the development would be the first in the city for 120 years.

“Brisbane is having a coming-of-age moment (that is) unprecedented in recent decades,” Brown said.

The project is the first development application with the Albert St-Cross River Rail priority development area.

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