Sunday, January 17, 2010

Proposed Milton Development on Milton Road

More than 10 years after it was closed down and sold by Tennis Queensland, the Milton Tennis Centre, together with the adjoining Milton Bowls site, has a development application on it to create a new "Emporium" style precinct, with residential, retail and commercial facilities.

The Seymour Group, owned by Queensland business identity Kevin Seymour, put in their application to the Brisbane City Council just before Christmas and although it is "extremely early days", the group are very excited about their plans for this famous parcel of land, according to a company spokesperson.

"The Milton Tennis Centre site is iconic in Brisbane and it has been vacant for so long. We’ve written into the code that we’ve submitted to council that there will certainly be a reference to the original centre somewhere in the new development," the spokesperson said.

Located at Frew Park, Milton Rd was the home of Queensland tennis from 1915. It consisted of 19 hard courts and four grass courts and hosted eight Australian Opens and 16 Davis Cup ties (including three finals). It hosted its last Davis Cup tie in 1990, the quarterfinal win over New Zealand featuring John Fitzgerald and Wally Masur.

Lindsay Davenport won the last world tour event at Milton in 1994, after which the wooden grandstands were declared unsafe. The Milton Tennis Centre closed in 1999 when Tennis Queensland sold the property to cover more than $1 million in debts. Doncaster Holdings sold the site to Multiplex for a reported $5.9 million in April 2002. Derelict and having suffered two fires, the stadium was demolished in May 2002. It has sat deserted and derelict since then.

It is understood the Seymour Group paid a total of $30.15 million for the tennis and the bowls sites in 2008. It currently has approval for 174 residential apartments but the Seymour Group wants to create a whole new precinct for both plots of the land, which total about 3.2 hectares.

"We’re thinking it would be a modern version of the Emporium in the Valley," the spokeswoman said.

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