29 March 2023

A touch of Braddon in the heart of Phillip? Plans lodged for mixed-use Build-to-Rent project

| Ian Bushnell
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illustration of building

An artist’s impression of the Phillip development. The proposal will change the dynamic in the area. Photo: Stewart Architecture.

It’s part of the changing face of the Phillip service district.

A development application for a mixed-use Build-to-Rent project on Townshend Street, between Grenville and Colbee Courts, is the second to be lodged there, injecting medium-density accommodation into the mainly small business area.

The service district on the southern side of Hindmarsh Drive has been running out of steam in recent years and developers have been eyeing off sites for boutique mixed-use projects.

In nearby Botany Street, Intellectual Property Group is planning to build a four-storey plus attic hotel, bar and restaurant.

But there is some disquiet about what this may mean for the provision of trades and services in the Woden area.

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The Townshend Street proposal will replace a two-storey office building with a 22-metre-high, five-storey plus attic complex with three ground-floor commercial tenancies totalling 582 square metres of floor space.

While the Phillip Precinct Code limits buildings to a maximum of four storeys, a fifth is allowed where the development fronts either Townshend Street, Colbee Court or Dundas Court, and the fifth storey is set back a minimum of three metres from the front boundary.

Civium building Phillip

The current building on the Townshend Street site. Photo: Ian Bushnell.

Civium Property Group’s DA follows its application last November to change the Crown lease of 17 Townshend Street to allow commercial accommodation and residential use and remove the requirement for general and professional offices and professional rooms to be located on the upper floor.

The residential component of the building is intended to be retained by the lessee for sub-letting in a Build-to-Rent model.

Above the double-height ground floor, the complex will comprise 43 units for short-term accommodation (18 x 1 bedroom/studio dwellings and 25 x 2-bedroom dwellings), with the attic level used as the second level of the dwellings on level 4.

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The DA, prepared by Purdon Planning, says the redevelopment will act as a catalyst for change within the Phillip Service Trades Precinct.

“The proposed building has been considered in relation to the wider Woden Town Centre Masterplan through the provision of medium-density housing along Townshend Street fronting Colbee Court parkland to bring more activity to the area after work hours and will introduce a new design to Townshend Street to encourage a similar vibrancy as Braddon,” it says.

illustration of building

A side view of the proposed development in Phillip. Photo: Stewart Architecture.

The ground floor will have vegetated pedestrian awnings, a publicly accessible pedestrian laneway in the middle of the complex and an access driveway at the rear.

A covered communal garden to provide amenity for residents is proposed for level 2.

Two levels of basement car parking will provide 65 car parking spaces, including nine for the commercial tenants, with entry from the rear lane off Grenville and Colbee Courts.

The commercial spaces, including a cafe, will require 22 spaces, but the DA says these can be found off-site within 200 metres, as can the 13 visitor spaces.

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Residents will be able to secure bicycles in lockable storage areas in the basement, while the commercial space will include long-stay bicycle parking spaces.

Waste rooms for residents and the commercial units will be on the ground level at the rear of the building, and the residential units will have waste chutes.

Comment on the DA closes on 14 April.

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If that building in the top photograph is facing north, that will be a lovely place to live in winter. That is, if the windows are not ruined by adding dark glass. And in summer, as the sun is higher, the sun shouldn’t be a problem either. (More a problem if the windows face east of west.)
I don’t think much of the bottom building.

Fiona Carrick8:42 pm 15 Apr 23

This is one developer claiming that Philip could be like Braddon.
While this sound good to many people, we need to plan it.
There are a couple of things we need to discuss, for example, how will the trades precinct and apartments coexist? Do people want to live on top trades shops like Kennards or a tyre shop in the future? Will the trades be pushed out like our recreation precinct?
How will we activate the streets given this development has 3m pavements that do not include street trees or alfresco dining. Braddon has 6m pavements.
Cities do not succeed by chance, they need planning.

The government completed the Woden Town Centre Masterplan in 2015. The intended outcome for the trades precinct is clearly represented in that plan. The Design Review Panel also commended this development proposal “The proponent is commended for their aspirations to deliver a high-quality development that is considered by the Panel to contribute to the evolving nature of the Phillip Service Trades Precinct.”

That is not a touch of Braddon, that is an eyesore. Parking is already atrocious all over Phillip, where are these people proposing to put the thousands more people coming in to the area with a major GP clinic in the same location? Who is making these dumb planning decisions? Or should I ask who is getting the kickbacks?

HiddenDragon7:25 pm 02 Apr 23

The Braddonisation of Phillip (which obviously won’t stop with Townshend Street), and of the equivalent bits of the Belconnen and Tuggeranong town centres, might seem like a genius idea to a cash-strapped government which thinks that everyone should be thrilled to live in a multi-storey dog box, but it is short-sighted.

Every time commercial premises are replaced by residential buildings with less and/or somewhat more expensive commercial space, that means more businesses which either need to find a new home, or which disappear. It also reduces the chances for viable new businesses to be created – something which should be a real concern in a town with such a narrow and shallow private sector economy.

To the extent that businesses are pushed out of the town centre trade precincts, and off to Fyshwick, Hume or Mitchell, that will mean more travel (which won’t, in spite of government spin, be happening by active or public transport, even if we had a city-wide tram network) – this should be an important consideration in a town supposedly fraught about carbon emissions.

Dog boxes? Yeah I’d prefer to live in a luxury dogbox 1hr from the city because its technically detached, but in reality everyone’s eaves touch and my outdoor space is smaller than most apartments because we all need 6 bedrooms and a home theatre.

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