Developers Look to Transform Eyesore on Waterworks Road Into New Community Asset

waterworks road
Photo credit: Google Street View

A 5,000-sqm property at 836-842 Waterworks Road in The Gap has sat empty and neglected for years, becoming an unfortunate magnet for vandals and thrill seekers. But this could finally change, with new plans submitted to redevelop what has become a massive eyesore into a hopefully bustling, multi-use complex.

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The property has a long and colourful history. It was originally purchased back in 1958 by pioneering property developer Renzo Zanuttini. At the time it was part of Zanuttini’s grand vision for the area. However, years later, the site sat mostly unused besides some small commercial enterprises.

In 2017 approval was granted by Council for a luxury residential development called Renzo’s Place. However, this project never eventuated and the approval is set to expire in November 2024. 

Photo Credit: Aspect

Since then the abandoned buildings on the site have been easy pickings for vandals, graffiti artists and urban explorers. The famous property has even gained notoriety on certain social media pages dedicated to ‘urban decay.’

Photo Credit: Aspect

Now fresh plans by architecture firm Aspect have been put forward to reinvigorate the site with a mix of healthcare facilities, childcare, residential apartments and a retirement village. The proposed multi-storey buildings are consistent with the height limits that exist for the property.

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The new facilities aim to fill a need for more community and aged care services in the area and the redevelopment could breathe new life into a long-neglected site with a fascinating history. After so many years sitting dormant, the revival of 836-842 Waterworks Road could be a welcome change for the community.

Photo Credit: Aspect

The proposed mix of uses also caters to The Gap’s growing population. With more young families and elderly residents, demand is increasing for childcare, healthcare and retirement living options close to the suburb’s shops and amenities.

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If approved, the revival of this iconic inner-west Brisbane site will not just remove an eyesore vandal hotspot. It will provide new facilities and housing for a range of demographics, cementing the next chapter in the property’s long and colourful history. After decades of neglect, its renewed purpose may finally be realised.

Published 9-November-2023