GOLD COAST BULLETIN
A flash new office block, a boarding house and a suburban backpacker hostel are among five new developments on the cards for Parramatta Park.
Developers are always looking for the best way to maximise their bottom dollar with construction projects across the city.
They come in all shapes and sizes, from major commercial developments right down to relatively minor home renovation projects from mum and dad investors.
The inner suburb of Parramatta Park is one of the oldest areas of Cairns, with plenty of Queenslander-style homes and a growing number of newer apartment complexes.
Its proximity to the CBD has made it a favourite among international students and workers, which has led to an upswing in developers converting older homes into rooming-style accommodation.
The suburb had an estimated population of 3790 in 2019, according to the ABS, with an average household size of 2.02 people living in 1769 dwellings.
OFFICE BLOCK SHAKE-UP
Plans have changed in a major proposal to replace an old Queenslander home with a flash new office block at 5 Palm Ave.
Developer MiHaven received approval in late-2019 to build a block with four 160sq m offices, a central atrium area with lift access, 22 carparking spaces on the ground floor and driveway access from Palm Ave.
“The proposal will include demolishing the existing dilapidated buildings and structures onsite on the site,” the original application stated.
“The design showcases two free standing building that are connected with a central access point where a common lift and external staircases will allow entry to both buildings.
“The central area will provide tropical gardens and outdoor terrace areas where office workers and guests can enjoy meetings and socialising.
“The design intends to set a new benchmark for boutique offices maximising the benefits of the warmer tropical climate conditions.
“There will be a significant contribution to creating a ‘sustainable’ office building, including solar panels and openable windows to maximise fresh air and cross ventilation and reduce need for airconditioning and power usage.
“With both buildings being free standing and setback from neighbouring properties, each floor level of office space will benefit from an abundance of natural light.”
The developer has now submitted a new application proposing to change the project to a single office tenancy to be used by MiHaven.
“This will be a singular two-storey office building with storage area at the rear of the allotment,” the fresh proposal states.
The new design includes 10 parking spaces compared to the previous 22.
No decision has yet been made on the new plan.
HOUSE GOES UP ON STILTS
The owners of 65 Charles St got the all-clear to raise their Queenslander-style home onto stilts to “achieve flood immunity for a future lower storey”.
Buildings in the low density residential zone are generally not allowed to exceed 8.5m in height.
This project was still approved despite a small portion of the roof going 29cm above the stated height limit.
“In addition, a letter stating no objection to the proposal has also been provided by the neighbours across the right-side boundary of the lot in question,” the development application stated.
Council officers deemed the “neighbouring dwelling is of a similar height and there will not be any loss in the residential character to the area or amenity to the neighbouring dwellings”.
Any future work to construct a habitable lower story will be subject to another development application process.
OFFICE BLOCK OVERHAUL
A major refurbishment and expansion has been approved for Cape York Land Council’s offices at 32-34 Florence St.
The existing two-storey building was given the green light for renovation and an extension at the rear of the site.
The building’s streetside facade was also in line for a modern look and high-quality landscaping.
“Most of the proposed development is for communal areas including a boardroom and meeting rooms,” the development application stated.
“At completion, the proposed development will comprise a two-storey building with undercover private carparks, a dedicated reception area, and an enhanced frontage.
“A small awning will extend over part of the ground floor frontage.
“The new frontage will include landscaping to Florence St which will comprise a variety of native flora species.
“The proposed development will be located entirely within the subject site which is already extensively developed.”
Cape York Land Council provides support to a broad range of Indigenous corporations and local government areas throughout the Far North.
“The existing building is used as a centralised meeting point due to its locality and communal access to the Cairns Airport,” the document continued.
“The existing development is at capacity in terms of physical space and whilst no material increase in workforce is proposed, the proposed development is necessary to provide additional working space for office based activities undertaken on site.”
NEW SUBURBAN BACKPACKER HOSTEL
Developer EK Development Group has applied for Cairns Regional Council approval to convert an old raised Queenslander home at 7 Terminus St into a small backpacker hostel.
The house was recently raised.
“The proposal is to convert the house to short-term accommodation with seven bedrooms for a
small backpacker’s accommodation,” the application states.
“This is consistent with the neighbouring uses and the area, providing a modern accessible building with the characteristics maintained of the existing Queenslander.
“The owners have development approval for the same at 7 Scott St, Parramatta Park …
“The owners wish to do the same with this house.
“The only addition to the existing house proposed with this application is a roof to the rear upper deck to fully cover this deck and provide better cover to the patio below.”
A decision is yet to be made.
REJIGGED BOARDING HOUSE PLAN
Neighbours of an old Queenslander at 307 Severin St could soon be living next door to a boarding house.
Owner Frank Miles previously had approvals to overhaul the property with a two-storey rear extension but was knocked back when he later asked Cairns Regional Council to remove conditions relating to flood immunity requirements for the existing home.
“In response to the flood issues, further discussions have taken place between the applicant and council regarding options to address the flooding, while maintaining the original number of approved bedrooms,” a new application states.
The new design proposes to convert the lower level of the existing house for use as a caretaker’s residence.
The floor level of the new bathrooms between the original dwelling and newly constructed rear section would be raised to comply with flood levels.
Three new bedrooms and kitchen for rooming accommodation would be built on the lower level at the rear of the existing house, in place of two existing car spaces.
Three new bedrooms for rooming accommodation would be built above the proposed carport.
The proposal is yet to be assessed by council officers.