2 January 2019

Anzac Park East set to come down after NCA green light demolition

| Ian Bushnell
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Anzac Park East has been vacant for 20 years, and the site is slated to become a housing and commercial precinct. File photo.

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.

Aerial view of the site. Image: Supplied.

Aerial view of the site. Image: Supplied.

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.

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My first job out of school was cleaning the windows in this building.

When did private residential and hotels become consistent with the parliamentary triangle? Not to mention on THE major spiritual axis of the city. The loss of symmetry on this axis is a major departure also.

So it really does look like we’re on a down hill run in favour of $$s. So much for the symbology and idealism of the Burley-Griffin Plan and the National Capital.

What next?

Capital Retro9:17 am 04 Jan 19

To the person who thinks living next to the lake would be nice.

Visually it is but when the algae pong starts you will not be using your balcony.

I’ve been living right on the lake at Kingston. There is no smell, just glorious views.

I’d like to see something military-aligned given where it is, but I suspect the only thing military about it will be the espionage equipment pointed at the next building down the street.

Maybe Huawei might put in a bid ?

Love all the Anti Andrew Barr rants. It scares me that people either cannot read or if they can do not understand how the ACT/Federal relationship works in relation to the Parl triangle.

Here is a hint, the NCA is Federal government. This is a building in the Parl triangle and approval has been given by the NCA. Which is not ACT government or Andrew Barr’s responsibility.

Yes, it’s almost like people don’t understand that the NCA is the appropriate planning authority, similarly for other projects like parts of the light rail project or the Gungahlin Drive Extension…

I understand they are. What I don’t like is where the NCA is used to create political mileage which is what happened on the GDE. Massive difference.

Except that’s not what happened with the GDE at all.

The ACT government tried to railroad the statutory planning authority with an unsuitable alignment for their own political mileage. If they had engaged with the planners and the planning authority earlier they would have known exactly where they stood.

You don’t get to bitch when your unacceptable building plans get rejected.

The symmetrical nature was rather nice. Shame.

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