Law Society House will embark on a new era in its 37-year history with the approval of a major refurbishment project, commencing early October 2022 through until May 2023.
Queensland Law Society Council resolved to approve the project on 25 August 2022. The decision comes after three years of planning, including delays caused by COVID, and will see the building developed into a modern, accessible space offering increased facilities for members and opportunities for commercial tenants.
QLS President Kara Thomson affirmed that the current Council was eager to continue the legacy set by previous Councils, and ensure the building could meet the needs of the growing membership now and in the future.
“The original development of Law Society House in 1987 was the result of a long-term vision by successive Councils to establish QLS centrally in the CBD, in a location that was close to our members and would become a significant member asset over time,” Ms Thomson said.
“The need to be visible, accessible and offer services from a central location was seen as key to the value we provide to members and the profession. This same vision underpins the new refurbishment project and has driven our approach to design.”
QLS CEO Rolf Moses said that independent modelling undertaken by the Society clearly showed that refurbishing the building now was the most responsible approach to managing this important member asset.
“Advice from our property valuers and modelling from our external property consultants clearly demonstrated that delaying a refurbishment was risky, given escalating building costs, maintenance costs and reduced rental capacity,” he said.
“Much like the decision taken to develop Law Society House in 1980s, we needed to make a decision now for the future.”
The project encompasses a comprehensive schedule of works required to address issues due to the age of the building, as well as optimising the available space for members, tenants and staff.
“As you would expect with a building of this age, there are a number of end-of-life and non-compliant items that need to be replaced or upgraded which are impacting the building’s current usability and functionality, its valuation, rental income potential and maintenance costs,” Mr Moses said.
The refurbishment will include a new building façade and entrance, a people with disability (PWD) lift, and a new lobby with concierge and café. The new fit-out will also offer a new members lounge on level 6, including a business centre and co-working spaces.
QLS staff will move to a modern fit-out over two floors, providing scope to increase conference and events spaces and meeting and mediation facilities throughout the building. This move will also allow Level 3, which is currently a mixed-use space, to be returned to a warm shell available for commercial rent. Toilets on all floors will be upgraded to included PWD amenities in line with building code.
The building will remain operational throughout the project, however there will be some changes to access and facilities as work progresses.
Questions about the project can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org and will be answered via FAQ pages on the website.