articles contributed by Paul Mitchell
the Courier Mail, January 27, 1989, By FIONA CAMERON)
has had much more than a mere work-related interest in Fortitude Valley
over the past four years.
the manager of Raine and Horne’s, city sales department and the man
responsible for much of the Remm amalgamation in the Valley — also has a
long-standing family connection with that part of town.
generations of McWhirters have had a close association with the area,
starting with James McWhirter, Ian McWhirter’s great grandfather, who
arrived in Australia from Scotland on the ship "Fortitude" in
the 1880s. James McWhirter worked for T.C. Beirnes in the Valley, then
opened his own shop in 1893 in Ann Street, opposite the current post
office. In 1898, he relocated to the corner of Brunswick and Wickham
streets, the site where the still-standing McWhirter’s (later Myers)
building was built in the 1930s.
son, my grandfather —also James McWhirter —worked in the store, but
died in 1919, predeceasing his father who died in 1924," Mr Ian
father, Duncan McWhirter, worked at McWhirter’s and was managing
director of McWhirter Ltd. at the time of his death in 1953. "At this
time, my brother James: McWhirter worked at the store and continued
working for Myer for a number of years.".
purchased McWhirter Ltd. in 1955 and retained the name until 1966. The
Myer store operated from the site until early last year when the Myer
Centre in Queen Street was completed. "It is thus historically
significant that the Remm Group has chosen the name ‘McWhirter’s
Marketplace’ for its major development which will no doubt become the
catalyst for revitalisation of the entire Fortitude Valley commercial
district," Mr McWhirter said.
first purchase in the Valley was the old Woolworths building in Brunswick
Street in 1985, and the Coles building was added to the portfolio soon
after. The amalgamation culminated in the acquisition of the McWhirter’s
building from Myer last year.
released little detail about its’ plans for the area, but preparatory
work is believed to have been going on in-side the old McWhirters building
for the past few weeks. Remm plans to start full-scale construction on the
site on February 1. A launch of the massive redevelopment program would be
held in the near future, a Remm spokesman said yesterday.
it will be a retail, community and entertainment complex incorporating a
hotel, restaurants and tourist attractions. Mr McWhirter said one of the
reasons the Valley was in for a development boon that it was now
impossible acquire a significant development site in the CBD for under $10
the new Town ____ major high-rise building permitted in Fortitude Valley
the area defined as the ______ heart precinct," he said. "It is
obvious to well informed real estate firms and developers that the
Fortitude Valley commercial district, which includes some 400 properties
earmarked, is the next big commercial development in Brisbane. Raine and
Home’s, recently into the availability of valley high-rise CBD office
sites only indicated that high-rise office developments would begin in
Fortitude Valley in the next few years, Mr McWhirter said.