News Corp's Brisbane headquarters are to be at the heart of a $2 billion plan to redevelop the city's Bowen Hills district.
Parts of the piecemeal Queensland Newspapers' building have been lying empty since print production was moved to Murarrie two decades ago, although functions of the Gold Coast Bulletin and most recently, the former APN Australian regional media business - acquired last year - have been moved to the site.
Now News Corp Australia is following the example of many other media companies by capitalising on its city-centre real estate. News businesses including the metro and national mastheads, Quest community - newly-expanded News Regional Media and Sky News - will occupy about a quarter of the 44,000sq m commercial office building which is part of the Millennium Square project, being led by PricewaterhouseCoopers' Real Estate.
News is looking for a development partner for the two-stage "city within a city" precinct on its 4 hectare inner-Brisbane site. A master plan includes a multimedia hub, residential towers, "destinational" retail, lifestyle and entertainment facilities and public gardens, linked to a redeveloped Bowen Hills railway station.
Construction of the first stage, including the commercial office tower, The first stage, "could start by the end of next year", according to Queensland and NT managing director Jason Scott.
"Being part of a development that delivers Brisbane a world-class multimedia hub is really exciting," he said.
News hope the tower will form part of a media hub, not only for its own operations, but also for other local and national leading innovative digital, technology, media and new knowledge companies.
The second stage of the development is forecast to start in 2021-2022, and will feature a hotel, seven apartment towers, a subterranean retail centre anchored by a full line supermarket and department store, along with a cinema, restaurants and speciality stores.
Pictured: Looks like money - the office building (top and centre) resembles a stack of silver coin, and (above) the present building. (Pictures: News Corp Australia)