Hutchinson Builders appointed to Cbus Queen Street project after Probuild collapse
Construction will soon resume on a long-awaited luxury Brisbane riverside apartment tower after Hutchinson Builders was appointed to take over from collapsed construction company, Probuild.
The flagship apartment tower named 443 Queen Street — developed by Cbus Property — will have 264 apartments with views across the CBD, Story Bridge and to Kangaroo Point.
But the $375-million development, touted as one of Brisbane's most luxurious subtropical residential builds, has been plagued by delays since its inception in 2016.
Probuild's collapse in February put the tower's construction further back, but Cbus Property chief executive Adrian Pozzo said he was confident the appointment of Hutchinson Builders would get the job done.
"We're going through the process of scoping out the balance of the works, which could take us anything between three to five weeks," Mr Pozzo said.
"We think we were about 80 per cent complete at the point in time when Probuild went into administration."
Sydney resident Mirka Shannon and her husband bought two apartments at 443 Queen Street in 2018 — one for themselves and one for their son who has autism.
Their completion date was originally the end of 2020 but it was delayed four times until Ms Shannon was told completion would be in September 2022 — shortly before Probuild's collapse.
"We're ordinary mum and dad people," she said.
"We've lived in an ordinary house in Sydney, we're not rich, we've lived off one wage.
"We have an autistic child we've had to look after [and] that's why I haven't been able to work.
"This is some luxury in our retirement."
Ms Shannon said she had not been able to access her apartments and was not satisfied with Cbus' communication about the new delays.
Mr Pozzo said he would have a clearer idea of the final completion date once assessments were completed by Cbus and Hutchinson in about a month.
He said several apartment levels were fully completed and work was resuming on-site.
"We understand [owners'] frustrations and concerns about the delays," he said.
"We are a developer of note so we're not making any excuses.
"We issued a purchaser notice back early April … advising them it would take us anything between six to eight weeks to work out a true program and true dates of completion, and that was whilst we were still negotiating with the administrator."
Mr Pozzo said there was a "multitude of reasons" why the development had been delayed beyond its original 2020 deadline, citing rising construction costs and difficulties getting workers on-site during the pandemic.
He added that claims Probuild had secured the contract with Cbus originally by underbidding by $40 million and promising a three-year construction period were "not correct".
"I can guarantee you that's not correct, both the number and the term," Mr Pozzo said.
He could not add further detail for probity reasons.
Mr Pozzo said all subcontractors who were left unpaid when Probuild collapsed would be paid for all their completed work.
We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Australians and Traditional Custodians of the lands where we live, learn, and work.
This service may include material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), APTN, Reuters, AAP, CNN and the BBC World Service which is copyright and cannot be reproduced.
AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time which is 10 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)