A development application has been filed for No. 1 Brisbane, a major new residential tower on the Queen Street Mall right in the heart of the city. A whopping 81 storeys high, if approved by the Brisbane City Council it will be the first residential apartment building in Australia situated directly on a CBD shopping strip.

The application was made last week by 151 Property Core Plus Management Limited on behalf of The Trust Company Limited, which owns the current site on the corner of George and Queen streets.

The final tower would be a behemoth: 77 storeys of residential apartments anchored by four floors of podium retail with verandahs and gardens. Twelve basement levels are proposed for car parking. At 274 metres high it pushes against the artificial-height ceiling dictated by Brisbane Airport radar limitations.

The 534 residential spaces are divided into one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments, with a pair of penthouses occupying the top floor. More than 70 per cent 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 is designed as a fully active street building with a series of connected retail spaces, the intention being to enliven what is a pretty sleepy end of the mall.

If completed as planned, the building would be a handsome counterpoint to 300 George and Queens Wharf towers – both currently under construction – filling out the city’s south-western skyline. Potentially controversial, though, is the decision to furnish the building with fewer car spaces than allowable under the Brisbane City Council's current Transport, Access, Parking and Servicing Planning Scheme Policy.

Apartment buildings with limited car spaces have been blamed for parking issues in Brisbane’s inner suburbs, despite some reports having car ownership at as low as 50 per cent among Brisbane CBD tenants.

The council will now undertake an assessment process of the development application.