Townsville City Council has approved the application for the first stage of the Hive development opposite Reef HQ at 1 Flinders Street, in the central business district.

Deputy Mayor and chairperson of Council’s Planning and Development Committee, Cr Mark Molachino, said the development would be a welcome addition to the eastern end of Flinders Street.

“There’s no doubt that this end of Flinders Street has been ready for development for some time and I am delighted that this project is coming to fruition,” Cr Molachino said.

“Council’s planning team have undertaken a thorough assessment of the application and given it the green light, subject to a number of conditions covering issues such as landscaping, car parking and footpath upgrades”

The development comprises a five-storey contemporary building with a gross floor area of 6,472 square metres and incorporates a mixture of office space, retail and service industries. The main tenant will be the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

As part of the Hive development, a shared pedestrian and vehicular laneway will be constructed providing access from The Strand through to Flinders Street.

Cr Molachino said Council officers would continue to work with the project proponents, the Gleeson Group, to enable construction to start as soon as possible.

“The development is another vote of confidence in our city and region’s future,” he said.

“Importantly, this project will also support jobs during the construction phase, which is great news for our local economy.”

Therese Smith, Managing Director of Gleeson Group, said she was delighted at the decision.

“We are delighted that our development application for 1 Flinders Street has been approved,” Ms Smith said.

“It is stage 1 of our world class inner-city mixed-use project, the Hive, and marks a positive step forward for our region.

“As citizen investors generations of our family live here and we are focused on the Hive being a placemaking project with a legacy for future generations to enjoy.

“1 Flinders Street, designed by Architects Conrad Gargett and development management by DMA Partners, will be a five floor, 6,000m2 commercial office building. 

“Two floors will become the new headquarters of Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and additional space will be available for lease including ground floor retail and spectacular top floor A-Grade commercial office space. 

“We will tender for a build partner in the coming months and construction of 1 Flinders Street is expected to begin in mid-2022.”

Ms Smith said future stages may include a concert hall and convention centre, renovation of the State heritage listed Queen’s Hotel, a new hotel, tertiary education, marine and tropical science research, tourism facilities, residential apartments, medical and allied health facilities, commercial office space, an indigenous art gallery, performance space, open spaces, and provide a link from the Strand to the CBD.