Build a university campus in 6 months? Challenge accepted!
As a Townsvillian myself, I know that the city is no slouch when it comes to getting things done, and this was demonstrated superbly with the delivery of the new CQUniversity Building in the heart of Townsville’s CBD.
Honeycombes Property Group was commissioned in August last year to purpose-build a new campus facility for CQUni. We’re proud to say that this has allowed us to extend the role we have already played in the expansion of the CBD via our master planned CBD precinct, Central.
From the outset, this was a vital construction project that would bring dividends to Townsville at a time when the market was starting to see real evidence of improvements.
Ultimately it resulted in a fresh capital injection into the city, not only through the approximately 150 new students accessing the facility at any one time, but also with the recent $12.8 million sale of the property to a private investor.
The agility that we witnessed across the board from everyone concerned in bringing the CQUni Building to completion is most remarkable.
From approval, construction and through to delivery we managed to provide CQUni with a state-of-the-art education facility in the space of six months.
It’s very rare for a project of this scale to be brought to fruition in this timeframe, and credit must go to the City of Townville and CQUni for creating a collaborative environment that allowed us to seamlessly achieve this.
As the first project to be approved and delivered within the Townsville City Waterfront Priority Development Area (PDA), Council were able to approve the Development Application in less than two weeks. This is a process that would usually take as long as three to four months under the normal approval process.
Credit too must go to the architects, Conrad Gargett (CGA), as well as the builders, RCQ Construction. Not dissimilar to the expedited approval process, CGA were able to prepare a full suite of DA documents in a week and when RCQ took possession of the site in late August they were able deliver a 3,000m2 building with a fully integrated fitout in less than six months. We aren’t aware of any recent projects in North Queensland where these timeframes have been replicated.
It was both demanding and exciting to be part of such a great project that has provided the city with another much-needed boost in confidence. Projects such as this, along with the new Super Stadium to be located just across the creek from CQUni, show that by working together, the people of Townsville can achieve great things.
Until now, CQUni had been operating out of another one of Central’s commercial buildings, NQN House. It was a space that was under pressure due to rising student numbers. They have retained this space in addition to the new building to underpin their existing operations in the Central precinct.
Further to the local student placements, national and international students are a vital source of growth that can only be cultivated by improving the student experience, and there’s no doubt that the new CQUni Building, together with Central’s vibrant residential and retail hub, will go a long way to achieving this.
CQUni is effectively laying the foundation for continued expansion of Townsville’s education sector, but in the process it is creating a new dynamic and vibe for the city.
There is no doubt that the calibre of CQUni as a tenant, its long-term commitment to the site and the CBD location were pivotal in finding the right buyer for the property. A sale of this scale affirms that we are on the right track.
It also highlights the need to take a long-term view of the city’s future and to have faith that the foundations we are laying now will set us up for exciting times ahead.
To that end, we are pleased to note that we have quite a few projects in the pipeline which we are very excited about. We will be launching them to the public soon, so stay tuned.
A big thanks to all at CQUni for the faith that they put in the Honeycombes team to deliver their home in such a compressed timeframe. A home that we know reflects the quality of an institution such as CQUniversity.