The ACT Government is continuing to create significant development opportunities in Canberra. Many of these prospects have emerged as a result of The Light Rail Project from Civic to Gungahlin and the Asset Renewal Program of which a key part is the relocation of approximately 1,300 public housing tenants (mainly from Civic and Northbourne Avenue). This program is well advanced and the largest parcel, The Allawah, Bega and Currong (ABC) flats in Civic, has recently been auctioned for a higher than expected price for a mixed-use redevelopment. The demolition of redundant public housing units along Northbourne Avenue has commenced and the Land Development Agency is progressing a strategy for the sale and redevelopment of a number of other Government sites. All of this will see the opportunity for residential, mixed-use developments of substantial scale with significant activated nodes, serviced by the Light Rail system.
The 16ha Canberra Brickworks site in Yarralumla has just gone on the market for the development of 380 dwellings plus mixed use development. The City to Lake Project is continuing to be developed and will represent the most significant opportunity for development and reactivation of central Canberra for many years when it is finalised and released to the market. Already the redevelopment of the Braddon precinct and the New Acton precinct have really reactivated and enriched the city.
The Australian National University is in discussions with investors to fund upgrades to nine of its on-campus student residences and is offering a 30-year lease deal to the successful bidders. The nine student residences together accommodate 3,760 students. There is strong demand for on-campus accommodation and the successful investors would also need to fund additional student accommodation as required. The prime location of the university precinct, and the interactive way it functions with the adjoining city centre, only adds to this investment opportunity.
Across the lake, a private consortium led by AFL Club the Greater Western Sydney Giants has proposed an $800 million redevelopment of the Manuka Oval and surrounding precinct. The Giants have been backed by Australia’s largest privately owned developer Grocon to make an unsolicited bid to the ACT Government to redevelop the prized land package – part of which would include upgrading the sports stadium to an international-standard facility.
Canberra also has 84 local shopping centres with a great variety of scale and activation and a number of these centres offer great potential for redevelopment as residential and mixed-use.
MacroPlan has been undertaking a review of the ACT Public Housing portfolio. At the same time, we have been developing a long-term strategy for the provision of public housing which will include examining the opportunities for greater involvement of the Community Housing sector as well as the private sector.
Medium house prices dropped by 1.4% in the last quarter, however it increased by 4.8% during the past 12 months. The National Capital City trend has been for all markets (except Melbourne and Hobart) to fall, so there is consistency in terms of what’s happing in our housing markets. This latest drop is an indication that the market is stabilising, however in Canberra MacroPlan has projected that there will be continued demand which is likely to continue.
The MacroPlan team have had strong involvement in providing advice to the ACT Government on all of the above projects as well as provide advice to private sector clients. If you would like further information or to discuss any of the above projects, please contact our ACT General Manager, Gary Prattley on 0412 264 152 and he will be pleased to talk to you.