| 02.09,18. 12:31 PM |
130yo Brisbane hotel destroyed by fire months after development application dropped
Police investigating as heritage-listed hotel destroyed by fire (ABC News)
Photo: The Broadway Hotel was built between 1889 and 1890. (Facebook: Lost Brisbane)
Police are investigating the cause of a blaze which gutted the abandoned heritage listed Broadway Hotel in Woolloongabba in the early hours of Sunday morning.
The Broadway Hotel was built on the corner of Logan Road and Balaclava Street between 1889 and 1890, but has been vacant since fire damaged the building in mid-2010.
Plans to develop the site were scrapped earlier this year after community objections.
Queensland Police Service Senior Sergeant Todd Sucic said a woman who had been out walking her dog called emergency services just before 1:00am.
"She heard a loud bang and the associated flames were coming out the top window, and on the arrival of police and the Queensland fire service the hotel was completely engulfed," he said.
"The flames were rising above the rooftop and the roof collapsed fairly quickly.
"We will be examining the scene further with our scientific in conjunction with the fire investigation unit."
No-one was injured.
It's believed the property is owned by former Premier Campbell Newman's brother-in-law Seb Monsour's company Majella Property Developments.
The company scrapped its plans earlier this year to develop the historic hotel into a 27-storey residential tower, after community objections.
Mr Monsour, 44, is facing a number of fraud charges relating to $10 million paid to his company.
Police originally charged him in June in relation to $5 million in investment fraud, but doubled the amount last week and he is due to appear in court later this month on the new charge.
Police have declared a crime scene and have urged anyone with information or dashcam vision just before the fire broke out to contact them.
The hotel was built for Brisbane publican Michael McKenna and was designed with three levels to cater for country visitors coming to the city.
The substantial hotel included single and double bedrooms, bathrooms, and drawing rooms, with luxurious and comfortable appointments throughout.
In its heyday, the hotel offered extensive and superior stabling and trams and buses passed the hotel every five minutes.
The Brisbane architectural firm John Hall and Son executed the design, and the builders were Wooley and Whyte, who won the contract with a tender price of 4,820 pounds.
McKenna remained the proprietor and licensee until 1903, when he leased the hotel to a succession of licensees.
In 1917 he sold the property to the Castlemaine Brewery of Quinlan Gray and Co.
In the mid-1980s the hotel was bought by Quetel Pty Ltd and in 1987 was leased to Pub Revive Pty Ltd who undertook a program of refurbishment.
It was added to the Queensland Heritage Register in October, 1992.