It’s confirmed. Brisbane is getting a gigantic new residential tower on Queen Street Mall, right in the middle of the city. Last week council approved a development application lodged mid-June for No.1 Brisbane, an 81-storey apartment building that would top out at 274 metres high, the artificial ceiling dictated by Brisbane Airport radar limitations.

The development will have 543 residential units, including two five-bedroom penthouses, and will be the first residential apartment building in Australia situated directly on a CBD shopping strip.

Planning consultants Bennett + Bennett submitted the original design application on behalf of client 151 Property Core Plus Management. Conditions of approval have not yet been released but Bennett + Bennett principal town planner John Morwood was quoted in the Brisbane Times as saying he was pleased the development had been approved in a timely manner.

“We worked really closely with Brisbane City Council in that time to resolve a number of matters that the council raised throughout the process and they’ve all been satisfactorily resolved to the satisfaction of all parties,” he said.

The council’s city planning chairman, Julian Simmonds, was quoted in the same report as saying the development would generate 600 construction jobs and about 180 retail and hospitality jobs once the project was complete.

“The building’s ground floor, first three levels and podium balcony, including a bar, will be dedicated to retail and entertainment open to the public,” he said.

The final tower is planned to be 77 storeys of residential apartments anchored by four floors of podium retail with verandahs and gardens. Twelve basement levels were originally proposed for car parking.

More than 70 per cent of the residential units will have views out across the city. In a style that is becoming popular in tropical and subtropical cities, the building will be punctuated by levels of gardens and community areas including barbeques, gyms and pools.

The building’s architects, Blight Rayner, intend for it to be a “breathable” green “vertical city” of self-contained communities. The podium levels are designed as a fully active street buildings with a series of connected retail spaces, the intention being to enliven what is a pretty sleepy end of the mall.

As planned, the building will be something of a counterpoint to 300 George and Queens Wharf towers – both currently under construction – filling out the city’s south-western skyline.