New details on three mega projects

Published 3:00pm 13 July 2023

New details on three mega projects
Words by Kylie Knight

The Brendale and Strathpine district is emerging as a hub for industry, entertainment, retail and energy/data storage, with a ‘world-first’ Anaconda Adventure HQ, Comiskey Group’s new hotel, retail and recreation hub and a $2.5 billion ‘supernode’ energy and data storage facility due to open in the next few years.

Representatives of the companies behind the three mega projects shared details with 100 local businesspeople at a Pine Rivers Chamber of Commerce meeting at UniSC Moreton Bay this week in a forum facilitated by Moreton Bay Regional Council Chief Economic Development Officer Paul Martins.

Anaconda CEO Chris Lude, Comiskey Group Director Rob Comiskey and Quinbook Infrastructure Senior Vice President Rachel Louie made up the panel, answering questions from Mr Martins and the audience.

New details on three mega projects

Anaconda Adventure HQ

Mr Lude said the Anaconda Adventure HQ development, on a 150,000sqm site at Brendale, would include two storeys of retail, an outdoor bike/scooter track, an outdoor caravan and camping display.

It will also be home to a ‘world-first’ barramundi fishing dam, which is expected to attract visitors from across Australia and beyond.

“It’s going to be an absolute monster in terms of large format retail. We came up with the idea of the Adventure HQ concept which is a larger Anaconda that actually sells boats, caravans etc,” Mr Lude explained.

“We’re actually going to have a dam as well and we’re hopefully going to bring more tourists to the Moreton Bay Region. Customers can actually come in, fish for barramundi and all sorts of other fish we can get in there.

“It’s a full experiential retail … we’ve got the Anaconda adventure HQ, a lot of other large format retail … Spotlight etc and also looking to bring more retailers to the area. We’re also looking to build a hotel and also office space.”

Mr Lude said Anaconda is hoping to open the flagship Brendale hub in 2025.

“It’s going to be a pretty awesome experience. The biggest thing for us is about getting people outside. You have a lot of retailers keeping you inside and our goal is to get people outside,” he said.

“It’s one of a kind, there’s nothing like it in the world. No-one has a fishing dam, especially a barramundi fishing dam.”

New details on three mega projects
An artist's impression of the new development proposed on the entry to Strathpine.

Comiskey Group, Strathpine development

The Comiskey Group’s portfolio will double with the opening of hotels in Strathpine and Dakabin and the activation of the 150ha festival site on the Sunshine Coast.

Comiskey Group Director Rob Comiskey said the Strathpine development site was about 15ha at the corner of Gympie and Kremzow roads and had been designed to mitigate flood risk.

“We’re using about 4.5-5ha, consisting of about four other buildings – one of them is a large showroom/indoor sport and rec,” he explained.

“We’re looking at everything from ninja warrior courses, we’ve had skateboard centres approach us. It will be something different, unique. It’s quite a standout development regarding the look. We’ve spent a bit of time on the design.”

Mr Comiskey said there would be a hotel/pub which is about 3000sqm with eight lanes of bowling in it, karaoke rooms, full 250sqm arcade, multiple restaurants, pickleball courts and American sports bar.

“It’s very much a different offering to every other hotel we’ve ever done before,” he said.

Gyms have also made approaches to be included and there will be a food precinct including Guzman y Gomez (GYG).

Mr Comiskey said the group was keen to think outside the box and look at potential experiences with fresh eyes.

“We’re looking at any and every experience we can bring. I looked at, the other day, digital axe-throwing with real axes,” he said.

“We’re looking at what we can provide … not what we can copy from the next region over or the other side of town … we’re looking at something we can bring to Australia as well.”

Experiences being considered include 1.2ha of multi-level indoor go-kart tracks, indoor virtual baseball, zip lining and even a dam with artificial beach and inflatable water park.

New details on three mega projects

Quinbrook Supernode energy/data storage, Brendale

Quinbrook is building a $2.5 billion ‘Supernode’ data and energy storage project on a 30-hectare site at Brendale powered by renewables and battery storage, the largest in the southern hemisphere.

Quinbook Infrastructure Senior Vice President Rachel Louie said the company was an infrastructure investor which focused exclusively on developing renewables, grid firming and decarbonisation.

“This is why we focused on the data and energy storage business. One of the reasons we picked where it is, which is on Kremzow Rd right next to the South Pine (electricity) sub-station, is because electricity generated throughout all of Queensland flows through that sub-station and into South East Queensland and into Brisbane.

“It just gives it unrivalled resiliency, it’s connection-efficient, it’s got minimum down time which is really important for the data centres and the battery energy storage.

“The battery which is 750 megawatts will be built over three stages – 250 megawatts each. We’re looking to start construction on the first stage of the BESS (Battery Energy Storage System) next year and it will start operation in mid-2025.

“We’re trying to attract not only global, hyperscale data centre operators but also governments and businesses because we want Queensland data stored in Queensland. At the moment, most of it is stored in New South Wales.”

The largest battery in Australia at present is about 200 megawatts, so the scale of this development is massive.

Ms Louie is hoping the facility will help stabilise the electricity grid and push down power prices, particularly during peak periods because stored power can be fed back into the grid at these times increasing supply.

New details on three mega projects
Paul Martins, Geri Davie, Craig Pratt, Chris Lude, Rachel Louie and Rob Comiskey at the Pine Rivers Chamber of Commerce breakfast.

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