Gladstone's entertainment hub project now 65% complete
THE new Gladstone Entertainment Centre could be the answer to Gladstone's parking woes and sparse cultural nightlife.
Currently 65% is complete and key stakeholders toured the building's shell yesterday afternoon.
"I can see today how excited the Gladstone community is going to be," Mayor Gail Sellers said.
The $35 million Gladstone Entertainment Centre Precinct Expansion is a joint venture between the council and Gladstone Ports Corporation.
Cr Sellers said it was money well spent.
"Because the community has something that's going to see them through the next 25 years," she said.
"There are so many facilities, the kitchen, the coffee shop. All of those things are going to make a whole new experience for the community."
The extension will provide five levels of car park, with three for the public.
The two top floors of office space are owned by the Gladstone Ports Corporation.
"It's a great position to be in, certainly one of the highest points in Gladstone," GPC CEO Leo Zussino said.
"We look forward to working closely with Maritime Safety Queensland (leasing level seven) to maximise the use of the harbour."
ADCO project manager Luke Broadhurst said the work, which started in August last year, had been a challenge due to the weather.
"We had over a month of rain on the site, which affected the in ground work," he said.
Mr Broadhurst said the best parts of the update will be the entrance and the bar.
"The forecourt is going to be a great environment, to enter the forecourt from Goondoon St, so rather than the old entrance which was up through a laneway," he said.
"They're opening the bar right up. No doubt the locals will enjoy coming in here to have some refreshments before the show.
"It's certainly a bigger venue, will be great for more shows, and encourage more acts to come up to Gladstone."
IT'S a secret, but Gladstone Harbour Master Captain Mike Lutze knows where his office will be in the new Entertainment Centre Car Park building.
There is one thing he will reveal.
"Let's just say it has a nice view," he said.
The top floor office space will be leased from the Gladstone Ports Corporation to be Maritime Safety Queensland's Gladstone headquarters.
It will include offices for the Regional Harbour Master, Vessel Traffic Services, Pilotage Division and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.
"We are the people that actually manage the waterways of the harbour," Capt Lutze said.
"One way of managing it obviously is the electronic sensors that we have.
"But you can't beat the mark one eyeball.
"The eye is the best way to see things."
The office will be treated to a bird's-eye view right up to The Narrows entrance, a far cry from Capt Lutze's early beginnings.
"My time here goes back to when we lived in one room in the back of the old court
house, back in 1977," he said.
"It's been a giant leap forward."
The office has come at a perfect time, with the harbour seeing about 36,000 movements in February.