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The ‘Little Italy’ project in Newstead is set to become Brisbane’s future centre of Italian culture and cuisine. The project, proposed by Panettiere Developments, consists of three residential towers with a total of 1001 build-to-rent apartments, as well as retail, hospitality, and commercial tenancies on the ground level. Initially, the company had planned for four towers of up to 36 storeys, but after meeting with Brisbane City Council officers, they scaled it back to three towers of 29, 31, and 33 storeys. The project is located on the corner of Longland Street and Stratton Street, aiming to revitalize the area with high-quality plaza spaces and urban laneways.

The company argues that the height of the towers should be deemed acceptable, as it will have a transformative effect on the area. Despite concerns over the project’s overall bulk, Panettiere has made design changes to address these issues. The proposed development is designed to provide publicly accessible plaza spaces, including a ‘Strattoria Lane’ off Stratton Street, allowing for informal recreation, functions, street events, and pop-up stalls. The project aims to create a vibrant community space with streetscape upgrades and opportunities for a variety of activities.

One of the key concerns for the project is the visual impact of the towers on the skyline. Panettiere has been asked to ensure that the towers do not appear as a massive concrete, steel, and glass structure from a distance. Additionally, the company must address whether the development would obstruct views of the CBD from areas such as Hamilton and Kingsford Smith Drive. It is crucial for the developers to demonstrate that the project will enhance the surrounding area and contribute positively to the urban landscape, rather than be an eyesore.

The proximity of the development to existing amenities such as The Triffid music venue and Gasworks highlights the potential for the ‘Little Italy’ project to create a vibrant hub for Italian culture and cuisine in Newstead. By integrating residential and commercial spaces with public plaza areas, Panettiere aims to establish a dynamic and welcoming environment for residents and visitors alike. The focus on streetscape upgrades, urban laneways, and piazzas reflects a commitment to enhancing the area’s livability and encouraging community engagement.

Overall, the ‘Little Italy’ project represents a significant opportunity to transform a formerly industrial block into a thriving cultural and culinary destination. With a focus on high-quality design and public spaces, the development has the potential to become a landmark in Brisbane’s urban landscape. However, the company must address concerns over the project’s scale and visual impact to ensure that it aligns with council regulations and enhances the overall character of the area. By creating a dynamic and vibrant community space, ‘Little Italy’ has the potential to become a cornerstone of Italian culture in Brisbane.

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