Century-Old Soda Factory in West End Sold for $42-M

The iconic Soda Factory in West End has been sold this week for $42 million in an off-market deal to a private investor.

Read: How Boundary St Building Evolved From Tristram Soft Drink Factory To West End Shopping Centre

Located at 79 Boundary Street, the site is a cornerstone of the community, anchored by a Coles supermarket and supported by 21 retailers, primarily focusing on food and allied health services.

The sale was negotiated by CBRE’s Joe Tynan and Michael Hedger. Tynan highlighted that they had been collaborating with the investor for an extended period and identified the Soda Factory as a key target. A direct approach to the vendor enabled them to negotiate and secure a favourable outcome.

The buyer, an esteemed commercial and residential group, is known for its active market presence and strong ties to the West End area, according to CBRE.

A Century-Long Legacy

Soda Factory
Tristram’s Grey Street Factory (Photo credit: triscofoods.com.au)

The Soda Factory’s rich history dates back over a century, named after the Tristram soft drink factory that once thrived on the site. Thomas Tristram founded the original company, T Tristram Essences, in 1875, not long after arriving in Brisbane. 

Initially operating from his family home at the corner of Grey and Hope Street, the company moved to Boundary Street in West End after the council requisitioned the original property for road improvements.

Soda Factory
Tristram’s factory on Boundary St (Photo credit: triscofoods.com.au)

In July 1929, the Tristram family acquired the Boundary Street land. By January 1930, Thomas Tristram had engaged the renowned architects Atkinson, Powell, and Conrad to design a state-of-the-art factory. The Tristram soft drink factory operated until 1979, after which the business transitioned into Trisco Foods, now managed by the fifth generation of the Tristram family.

Transformation and Redevelopment

The former soft drink factory was transformed into the West End Market Shopping Centre during the 1980s. In 2001, Heritage Pacific redeveloped the site, creating a mixed-use major retail facility and residential apartments. The property changed hands in 2014 when SCA Property Group purchased it for $32 million.

Read: Frozen Legacy in West End: A Century of Ice Cream Dreams at Peters Factory

The recent sale to the private investor marks another chapter in the Soda Factory’s storied existence, ensuring that this historic site continues to be a vital part of the West End community.

Published 25-June-2024

Honest Cooking Shines at Gum Bistro, Newest West End Bistro

West End has a fresh face on the dining scene with the opening of Gum Bistro, an intimate 40-seat restaurant showcasing honest, produce-driven cooking.

Occupying the former Pasta Club space on Boundary Street, Gum Bistro is the creation of chef Lachlan Matheson and sommelier Phil Poussarts, both alumni of the acclaimed Pasta Club.

The reimagined space has undergone a brightening makeover with white-painted panels, pops of greenery, bespoke stamped napkins and local artwork lending a cosy, considered ambience. But the real star is the concise, MetCommets focused menu.

Matheson’s seasonal cuisine allows quality local produce to take centre stage, be it the textbook duck liver parfait with Riser sourdough or the cold squid salad with fennel, chicory, and lemon to start. Standout mains include the vegetarian-friendly vegetable pot pie and the crowd-pleasing sweet corn agnolotti pasta.

While expertly crafted cocktails named after guitar riffs are available, oenophiles will be eager to explore Poussarts’ curated wine list during their visit. The experienced sommelier has sourced an interesting array of rare finds and varieties during previous tenures at esteemed spots like Pilloni, Essa and Hobart’s Fico.

With its intimate, welcoming ambience, locavore sensibilities and intriguing wine program, Gum Bistro looks poised to become a West End dining destination for honest, flavourful cuisine. Reservations are recommended to secure a table at this hotspot.

Boundary Street Retailers Demand Action Against Rising Anti-Social Behaviour

Small business owners in Boundary Street, West End, are raising the alarm over the escalating antisocial activities in the area. They claim that the situation has deteriorated significantly since a safety summit convened five years ago. 

Amidst the daily hustle of inner city life, these retailers are confronting a reality that threatens not just their livelihood but the very charm of West End. Despite previous promises for improvement, the community now faces a critical juncture demanding immediate action.

Following the safety summit led by Jackie Trad, a comprehensive report by Urbis in 2019 outlined several recommendations to curb anti-social behaviour along Boundary Street. However, traders express frustration over the need for more implementation of these suggestions. 

Promised enhancements in lighting, surveillance, and policing have yet to materialise, leaving business owners to fend for themselves against an increasing tide of shoplifting, vandalism, and public disturbances.

Boundary Street West End
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Day-to-Day Challenges for Retailers

The daily trials faced by the traders of Boundary Street paint a grim picture of their current reality. Shoplifting has become so commonplace that thieves blatantly showcase stolen items to shop owners. 

Incidents of vandalism and public indecency, including the presence of vomit, urine, and even faeces on the shopfronts, have become routine challenges that tarnish the area’s reputation. These issues have escalated to the point where some business owners, who have served the community for decades, claim it’s the worst they’ve ever seen.

A veteran shopkeeper, boasting over three decades of experience and representing a business with a legacy spanning over 70 years in West End, expressed unprecedented concern over the current state of affairs. The individual highlighted a reluctance to voice these issues publicly due to fear of backlash and accusations of racism on social media platforms. This fate befell others who spoke up.

The shopkeeper lamented the frequency of shoplifting incidents, now a thrice-weekly ordeal, describing the situation as disheartening. Previously committed to after-hours work for cleaning and administrative tasks, the individual now feels too intimidated to do so, citing recent alarming episodes during capoeira training sessions at Kurilpa Hall. Efforts to solicit police assistance were met with responses indicating a need for more available officers or timing outside of operational hours.

The shopkeeper raised a poignant question about the future trajectory of West End should the current trends persist.

Similarly, Wayne Shay, proprietor of Shays Shoes, a family-run establishment since 1901, echoed these sentiments, noting the absence of previously promised safety and lighting improvements. Shay observed a decline in the local crime situation over the last five years, underscoring a growing concern among the business community in West End.

The Queensland Police Service online crime map showed that in the past six months, there have been 53 good order offences, 84 property damage reports, and four offences against a person in West End. 

West End Crime Stats Oct to March
Photo Credit: QPS

Community and Police Response

In response to the outcry from West End’s business community, local leaders and the Queensland Police Service (QPS) have voiced their commitment to addressing these concerns. 

The QPS highlights its efforts to deploy designated officers and patrols within the area while emphasising its focus on crime prevention and community engagement. 

The West End police station organises specific patrols on foot, by vehicle, and by bicycle along Boundary Street and throughout the West End area. Furthermore, the community can request the deployment of a Mobile Police Beat to a location of their choosing when necessary. 

Meanwhile, Greens Councillor Trina Massey underscores the importance of community outreach and service provision as fundamental approaches to combating the root causes of crime and anti-social behaviour.

One of her initial measures as a councillor, when she assumed office in 2023, was to obtain the necessary funds to improve the kiosk in People’s Park. She explained that the kiosk’s refurbishment is expected to enhance outreach to the community and better equip service providers to assist those facing hardships. According to research, the most effective crime prevention method is ensuring all community members have access to stable accommodation and sufficient food.

Ms Massey expressed eagerness to convene with West End community groups, the local business association, service organisations, and other vital parties to explore collaborative solutions for Boundary Street’s future.

Published 1-April-2024

Archive Beer Boutique: West End Craft Beer Pioneer Up For Sale

The head lease of Archive Beer Boutique, a pioneer in the craft beer market in Brisbane, has been put up for sale. Aushotel Group has appointed CBRE to steer the deal of this landmark West End pub.

This is an opportunity for a new operator to make a mark in the ever-evolving craft beer market for the long term. The sale comes with a full, commercial late-trading liquor licence and the chance to build three bottle shops within 10 kilometres of the site.

Archive Beer Boutique is on Boundary Street and has thrived in this premier location for more than a decade. CBRE’s Paul Fraser said that the pub’s location, size and scale, and long tenure could easily generate interest from investors. The pub sits opposite West Village, which is undergoing urban renewal.

Photo Credit: Ezi Digital Australia/Google Maps

The pub also enjoys a loyal following, even amidst a global crisis, and the hospitality industry has to adjust and adapt to the new normal. Fraser said that the vendor of the property has been looking to enjoy semi-retirement and offload his assets as the hospitality sector bounces back from COVID-19. 

Aushotel Group’s managing director, Jim Davies, said that Archive continues to be a “volume driver for many craft brands” even as different craft brews have been setting shop in Brisbane. 

Archive Beer Boutique spans 1,419 square metres and was recently renovated with a main restaurant on the ground floor and a Loft Bar for functions and evens on the second floor. 

How ANZ West End’s Closure Impacts More Local Stores

The West End branch of ANZ will permanently close by April 2021, along with 18 other branches across Australia. This will be the third bank to shut its branch operations on Boundary Street amidst the pandemic, after Suncorp and Westpac’s closure in late 2020. 

An estimated 105 ANZ workers will be out of a job when the branches close but the company said the decision was made because only 12 percent of its clients visited the branches in the last year. According to the bank executives, foot traffic has been down as customers are choosing digital banking,  deemed more convenient and secure in this new normal.

But Finance Sector Union (FSU) Queensland Secretary Wendy Street said branch banking is considered an essential service and branch staff members are also essential workers like healthcare frontline workers. 

Ms Street said that foot traffic was down because of the health crisis and not because the customers had a choice. The union leader added that the closure of ANZ will further impact businesses on Boundary Street as people usually do their shopping or dining whenever they stop at the bank. Customers are likely to patronise shops in places where they do their banking.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Meanwhile, it’s unclear how many workers will be affected by the closure of ANZ West End. A spokesperson said the bank redeployed many of its experienced staff during the round of closures in 2020. Retrenchment payments were also increased last year because of the pandemic but ANZ has not indicated if it will do the same this year. 

ANZ West End is the lone Queensland branch to close from this batch, whilst the other branches are in NSW and Victoria. 

Suggestions to Ease Parking Congestion on Boundary Street, West End Submitted

In a bid to help ease parking congestion on Boundary Street, West End Traders Association (WETA) submitted a proposal to the Brisbane City Council last December.

Included in WETA’s suggestions are long-term parking on minor streets for Boundary Street establishment owners and their staff, additional disabled parking bays, and a 15-minute parking period in loading zones after 4:00 p.m.

However, since Boundary Street is accessible by public transport and on foot, some business owners believe that parking on the street should be removed altogether. They are suggesting that the area be reinvented instead as a destination for arts and entertainment.

Councillor Jonathan Sri expressed support for the proposals and also suggested for the moving of the taxi rank to Russell St, to further decongest Boundary Street and improve safety of motorists.

Parking in Brisbane

In 2014, the Brisbane Parking Taskforce was established to advise the Council how address parking issues and manage on-street parking in the future which resulted in the updating of Parking Guide to Brisbane. All 55 recommendations in the final report of the Parking Taskforce which included representatives from RACQ and Taxi Council Queensland — after considering over 1,100 submission— have been implemented.

Some of the recommendations were:

  • free 15 minute parking in 7715 metered parking spaces outside of the CBD, and 1100 spaces in Council’s King George Square and Wickham Terrace car parks (CBD), to improve access to local shops and promote economic growth
  • a fast online parking permit system to simplify and streamline the parking permit application process
  • a freeze on residential parking permit fees
  • investment in integrated parking technology, such as parking sensors and mobile phone applications, to help motorists pre-plan their parking
  • improved parking signage for traffic areas and loading zones, and a trial of parking schedule signage to make it easier for motorists to identify on street parking spaces
  • enhanced parking management around schools and in residential areas to improve safety and access to parking.

The Brisbane Central Traffic Area, which covers CBD and nearby suburbs and localities, enforces a maximum of two-hour parking for vehicles without a valid resident’s parking permit from 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Monday to Friday and from 7:00 a.m. until noon on Saturdays.

On the other hand, 15-minute free parking is available in:

  • Auchenflower
  • Bowen Hills
  • Buranda
  • Fortitude Valley
  • Kangaroo Point
  • Kelvin Grove
  • Milton
  • Newstead
  • South Brisbane
  • Spring Hill
  • Teneriffe
  • West End
  • Woolloongabba

The 15-minute free parking is also available at King George Square Car Park and Wickham Terrace Car Park. Customers staying longer than 15 minutes will need to pay at the meter or via the CellOPark Australia app.

West End Project to Get More Green Space as Developer Fulfils Conditions for Approval

In a bid to fulfil conditions to full approval of the West Village project in West End, the developer has submitted plans to double the green space accessible to the public.

The increase of publicly accessible green space is one of the conditions set by Deputy Premier and Planning Minister Jackie Trad when she approved the development application in November 2016. This was after Ms Trad called in the development back in September 2016 after it was met by strong public opposition.

After review of the project, the development was eventually approved, provided that they meet certain conditions. Conditions include providing at least 30% of the site area as publicly accessible open space. The approval also called for the developer to bring down the maximum number of multiple dwelling on site to 1,250 units. Initially, the developer planned for 1,350 apartment units.

The West Village project is currently under construction, with Stage 1 expected to be completed by the end of 2018. Once completed, the Boundary Street development would boast four laneways: Mollison Lane, Peters Lane, Wilson Lane and Factory Lane and a common green park.

Read: Four Green Laneways Planned for West Village in West End

Proposed Changes

On 21 December 2017, the developer lodged a development application to meet certain conditions of the approval.

The plans posted on the Brisbane City Council website on 3 January 2018 address the conditions covering the open areas open to the public. These include plans for The Common and the laneways.

The Common space proposal to meet approval condition. (Photo credit: Brisbane City Council)

Under the plan, West Village would provide 1,532 square metres of publicly accessible area through The Common space. The Common space would be available for public access 24 hours a day.

The Common would include a water play area as well as space for public performances. Through the plan, the developer also aims to fulfil requirements for unimpeded and safe 24-hour public pedestrian access and crime prevention through environmental design principles.

The plans for Factory Lane and Wilson Lane are also included in the recent proposal. Factory Lane would be a green laneway leading to The Common space. Wilson Lane would be right next to the existing factory and would provide 10 bike racks and vehicular access bollards.

Plan for Wilson Lane includes bike racks. (Photo credit: Brisbane City Council)

The proposal also aims to address the condition covering community focused land uses. This involves adding at least one child care centre, providing a minimum of 500 square metres of the gross floor area for community space and 100 square metres of the gross floor area for knowledge space or co-working hub.

Other Conditions

Approval of the development also depends on the fulfilment of other conditions. These include provision for car and bicycle parking spaces for non-residents, traffic management prepared by a qualified traffic engineer, and deep planting for 10% of the site area.

See details of the proposed changes under Development Application A004827055.

Loft West End to Host Free-Entry New Year’s Eve Party

While everybody else is lining up to get in a crowded party to end the year, Loft West End is teaming up with Sofi Spritz to throw a free-entry New Year’s Eve party at its Boundary Street venue in West End.

Aside from being a free event, the NYE Summer Spritz Party has heaps of fun prizes and giveaways in store for party goers. Two of the top DJs in Brisbane will also be there to make sure that everyone will have an amazing New Year’s Eve.

Event Details

What: NYE Summer Spritz Party
When: Sunday 31 December 2017 – Monday 1 January 2018
10:00 p.m. – 3:00 a.m.
Where: Loft West End
100 Boundary Street, West End

Launch Party

The Loft West End event will also be the official launch party of Sofi Spritz as it introduces its new White Peach & Ginger Spritz.

Photo credit: Sofi Spritz/Facebook

The first 100 people at the party will take home a New Year’s Eve Party pack, which includes Sofi Spritz product, merchandise and other goodies.

Sofi Spritz is also giving away a $500 NYE Food and Beverage Package. Check their Event page to learn how to enter.

The new flavour is all-Australian and all-natural, perfectly blending the white peach and ginger with white wine and a dash of soda water.

Sofi Spritz is known for creating premium quality Australian wine using locally sourced ingredients. Its flavours drew inspiration from Mediterranean heritage, bringing some Italian style to Australia’s relaxed outdoor lifestyle.