Fortis $100 Tower to Hover Over Kangaroo Point Site

As the development sector still navigates the cliff’s edge, Sydney-based Fortis is forging ahead with its Queensland expansion, unveiling plans for a riverfront apartment tower at Brisbane’s inner-city Kangaroo Point.

The $100-million tower proposal has been designed to “hover” three levels over a 1197sq m site at 44 O’Connell Street it acquired this year from local architect-developer Joe Adsett.

After Adsett’s plans for a 15-storey, 14-apartment tower on the site were given the green light by the Brisbane City Council in October 2021, the narrow battle-axe-shaped property became a NIMBY frontline.

The approval was subsequently cancelled in November last year after proceedings were initiated in the Planning and Environment Court over the validity of the council’s decision.

Under the new plans filed by Fortis, the go-ahead is being sought for a similar-sized residential tower, which would replace an existing 1960s six-storey block of 13 units.

It would comprise a ground-floor lobby and tiered communal recreation area topped with 14 whole-floor three-bedroom apartments, including a penthouse with a private rooftop terrace and pool. Indoor and outdoor resort-style communal amenities would include a lap pool and leisure deck, wellness retreat and landscaped pockets for entertaining, are planned for the tower’s base.

Three basement levels would provide 46 carparking spaces.

According to a submitted planning report, the proposed 15-storey building height and site cover of 44.9 per cent meet code assessable requirements.

As well, it noted setbacks and building separation “achieve wider dimensions than the previous approval” but, without strict compliance with the 6m to side boundaries, performance outcomes were being sought.

“Paying homage to the natural beauty and earthy tones of the Kangaroo Point cliffs … the building’s profile is slender and will introduce a dynamic experience to the Kangaroo Point skyline,” the report said.


Access to the site is via a 50m single-lane driveway with a “signalised system” proposed to facilitate safe and efficient movement of vehicles in and out of the property.

“The site’s pronounced topographical decline demands a specialised planning solution that prioritises pedestrian access and connections to the Brisbane River, both visually and physically,” the report said.

It said the proposal provided an innovative, contemporary and functional design outcome that would “exude elegance and establish a harmonious connection with its surrounds”.

“The proposal represents a modern and sophisticated design that is emblematic of Kangaroo Point and high end riverside living that has become increasingly popular in Brisbane’s inner located suburbs,” the report said.

It concluded: “The proposed 15 storey built form is consistent and complementary with the area’s local character and reflective of the existing scale and massing present within this section of the Kangaroo Point precinct.”

Plus Architecture designed the latest scheme—dubbed O’Connell—to “align with a luxurious riverside lifestyle” as well as “replicate the terrestrial makeup of its context at Kangaroo Point and emphasise the historical significance of the area”.

“Our design seamlessly connects to the river, creating a welcoming atmosphere,” its design statement said. “The building hovers three levels over [the site] offering an impressive focal point from the river and an expansive and active undercroft.

“The design incorporates panoramic views of the scenic New Farm area and the serene Brisbane River, fostering a strong connection to nature.”

In 2021, developer Pikos Property Group was granted approval—with conditions, including a reduction in apartments—by the Planning and Environment Court to build three 15-storey towers on a 5284sq m site at 108 Lambert St, Kangaroo Point.

The decision followed the Brisbane City Council rejecting the development application after community backlash over the height of the towers.

Article source: Queensland Property Investor