5 August 2022

600 apartments, two hotels planned for Braddon site on Northbourne

| Ian Bushnell
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JWLand development

An artist’s impression of the development fronting Northbourne Avenue. Images: Cox Architecture.

Canberra developer JWLand has lodged plans for a multi-building, mixed-use development that will include two hotels on the former public housing land sitting between Haig Park and the Rex Hotel in Braddon.

The $158 million Braddon Place proposal will add 602 units and 239 hotel rooms to the inner north, as well as restaurants and commercial tenancies.

Six buildings will share a common two-level basement providing 908 parking spaces, with three nine-storey blocks fronting Northbourne Avenue, while three smaller six-storey structures on Henty Street behind signal a transition to the medium-density environment of the area.

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JWLand says the vision for the site is for a series of buildings organised around a central green spine, linking Haig Park in the south with the Rex Hotel’s heritage-listed ‘Expansion’ mural to the north.

It bought the site for $28 million in July 2020.

The apartment mix includes one and two-bedroom units, as well as studio, one and two-bedroom rooms across the hotels, which will also have a lobby, reception areas and restaurants in two of the buildings on Northbourne.

Northbourne Avenue view

A front-on view from Northbourne Avenue showing the treed pedestrian link to Henty Street.

The DA says the development will include landscaped gardens with deep soil plantings, two pedestrian-only links between the blocks from Northbourne to Henty Street, and gated communal courtyards in two of the bigger buildings.

The development aims to achieve more than 30 per cent tree canopy cover.

Facilities will include shaded seating areas, lounging deck, barbecues and table settings enclosed by large pergolas structures with climbers.

Most of the trees and climbing plants will be deciduous to provide summer shade to combat the heat island effect and winter sun.

A cycle link is provided in the shared zone/path to the south of the blocks along Haig Park.

The eight-metre setback from Haig Park has been increased to 10 metres on the recommendation of the Design Review Panel.

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Vehicle access to the development will be from Henty Street via an internal two-way laneway that heads north to an exit back onto Henty Street and an additional shared laneway to Northbourne Avenue.

Basement parking will be via an internal laneway and will be accessible from Building 1 (for residents) and Building 3 (for hotel guests).

The DA says providing basement parking access off Henty Street from the laneway will ensure local traffic flow won’t be interrupted by those entering and exiting the car park.

View from Haig Park

The view from Haig Park.

All services will be restricted to using the Henty Street entry and exit, and service vehicles will not be permitted to turn left onto Northbourne Avenue.

Services for the entire proposal have been placed within the centre of the site, which the DA says largely removes loading/unloading, internal vehicle movements, waste management/storage and other services from the public realm.

The DA’s traffic report says the proposed development will generate 266 movements in the AM peak and 287 in PM peak times.

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In traffic simulations, the post-development scenarios lead to a minor deterioration in operating conditions, but the report notes the contribution of traffic volumes from the development is minor compared with those on the existing road network.

But the report recommends that the development controls the Northbourne Avenue egress during AM peak period to ensure the free flow of outbound traffic onto Henty Street.

Completion is expected in 2027.

Comments on the DA close on 22 August.

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The very reason why canberra as city is, not being beautified but built on for profit. Developers who don’t give to the community but take from it. It’s a disgrace – it’s not architecture – it’s a crime and the governing bodies are allowing this to happen – to the future generations. Who appreciates these buildings???

The very reason why canberra as city is, not being beautified but built on for profit. Developers who don’t give to the community but take from it. Disgraceful, to current canberrans and future generations.

Great, more commercial spaces no one wants or can afford? And hotels when it’s more affordable housing that’s needed? Is ANYONE going to start building affordable housing that doesn’t look like a slum or high rise nightmare?

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