The former Red Cross site on Headfort Street in Greenslopes could soon become a new community park following almost seven years of abandonment.
Councillor Fiona Cunningham confirmed in a Facebook post that Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner and the Council agreed to buy the land from the Federal Government.
Discussions are ongoing about redeveloping the precinct for community use, given that there are no nearby playgrounds or family recreational facilities in the area.
“Council has also had discussions with Legacy, an organisation with deep connection to this site, about a portion of the land being used for their services for the families of our veterans,” Ms Cunningham said. “Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) will also provide Council with a heritage strategy for the park so this can be considered in the design.”
For years, Greenslopes residents have been asking the government to act on the idle space. The former Red Cross hall has been riddled with disintegrating asbestos and is in the advanced stages of disrepair.
The property, owned by the DVA until its lease expiration in 2013, has been tagged as a health risk and a waste of property. The site stands across the Greenslopes Hospital.
Built in early 1945, the Red Cross hall consisted of two heritage-listed timber buildings. The site was used as a recreational facility for military personnel receiving medical services across the street.
Events like film screenings, concerts and dances were often hosted in the community hall, which also had a library and a room filled with billiard tables. The other building served as a hostel for visiting relatives and friends of the patients.
MP Richard Marles confirmed that the Federal Government will hand over the Red Cross property to the Brisbane City Council.
“The hope is that now works can commence to make the site safe again and that it could be restored to its former glory for use again by local Brisbanites,” Mr Marles said in a post.