Internal demolition has started at the site of Toowoomba Regional Council’s newest Toowoomba CBD pedestrian walkway and multi-functional public space at 174 Margaret Street.
Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio said the vacant building on the eastern side of Tatt’s Hotel in Margaret Street would be transformed to reveal an attractive urban walkway and meeting place.
Mayor Antonio said safety fencing had been installed with internal demolition expected to be completed in the coming week.
“This is the early demolition work which will further inform our final concept plans for the laneway,” Mayor Antonio said. “This early work will reveal whether there are certain features that we wish to retain for the project.
“The draft concept plan was developed through consultation with Margaret Street businesses, the Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce, the City Heart CBD Focus Group, the Queensland Police Service, the Toowoomba Architects’ Group and the Queensland Urban Design and Place Panel.
“Council received a range of positive comments regarding plans to construct the lane that will link Margaret Street to Jessie and Annand streets.
“Laneway construction is scheduled to start early next year and be completed by the middle of 2020.
“The project, which is part of Council’s Laneway Strategy for the CBD and the overarching Toowoomba City Centre Masterplan, will realise a vision to transform this area of the CBD.
“When completed the new walkway will provide a convenient pedestrian thoroughfare between the CBD and longer-term car parking and other retailers.
“By incorporating good urban design ideas, 174 Margaret Street will be an attractive, safe open space for city workers and the public to enjoy.
“The plan proposes an area incorporating green space, visitor information, public amenities, weather protection and convenient access to surrounding areas.
“This project will complement other work which has been performed to refresh the CBD.
“Council has invested around $100 million in civic projects, such as Toowoomba City Library and Civic Square, Kwong Sang Walk, the Outer Circulating Road Victoria Street extension, the Railway Goods Shed and Ruthven Street North Streetscape project, among others.
“I’m positive that the addition of these new amenities will encourage private investors to review their plans for this part of the CBD.”
Historical details related to the site could be expressed through integrated art or signage. Details from Council’s Local History Library reveal the building was tenanted by GE Finance for more than 20 years.
Historical files show the building was owned by the late Mr C W Hamilton from 1930-34. From 1934-37 174 and 176 Margaret Street appeared on the same rate card operating as a shop occupied by Archibald Bishop.
Rate records show the building was owned by The United Insurance Co. Ltd from 1956-66 and by The South British Insurance Co. Ltd in the mid to late 1970s.
Caption: Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio (right) with Toowoomba real estate agent Chris Tang, whose wife Calista Lee runs the business on the eastern side of the planned walkway and open space.