The National Capital Authority has approved the clearing of the landmark Anzac Park East site, which Amalgamated Property Group plans to redevelop into a housing and commercial precinct.
The Commonwealth sold the historic site, vacant since 1997, for $34.3 million to APG, which has foreshadowed a mixed-use development including apartments, commercial spaces, restaurants, a hotel, and shops.
Anzac Park East, at the intersection of Parkes Way and Anzac Parade, is a twin of Anzac Park West opposite, with the pair forming a gateway to Anzac Parade and framing the vista from Parliament House to the Australian War Memorial.
Anzac Park West was also sold off in 2017, to Sydney-based EG Funds Management for $51 million, but it will remain standing under a long-term lease with the Department of Defence.
As well as ticking off on the tearing down of the office block, the NCA also approved, just before Christmas, the excavation of the car park, removal of trees and erection of perimeter fencing and advertising hoarding, which will carry the line, “A new chapter in our city’s history”.
The NCA conducted public consultation between 16 November and 7 December 2018, and received four submissions on the proposal.
The key issues were the site’s historical significance and position at the entry to Anzac Parade, the loss of trees, car parking and the need for excavation.
Architect Penleigh Boyd, citing a ‘loss of embodied energy’, believed the building should be retained and repurposed but the NCA said the National Capital Plan recognised the historical significance of the site and ensured the ‘portal’ intention was protected.
It also said the sale of the site by tender included proposals for both redevelopment and repurpose but the former was successful.
The site needed to be excavated so hazardous materials including construction waste, asbestos, potential diesel and PCBs could be removed and the land decontaminated and remediated for future use.
The trees to be removed are within the excavation area but a grove of eucalyptus trees at the southern boundary are to be retained.
Further public consultation will be needed when an application is lodged for the building works.