Demand drives four-storey apartment proposal for Griffith house site

Ian Bushnell 3 May 2021 7
Block of units

An artist’s impression of the proposed development at 52 Leichhardt Street. Image: Morris Property Group

A large overgrown residential block in Griffith, currently home to a typical inner-south red brick house, has been earmarked for multi-unit development in an area changing to high density housing types amid intense demand for properties.

Morris Property Group, which is developing the Renaissance multi-unit development in nearby Manuka, is proposing to build a ’boutique’ four-storey, 27-apartment complex on the 1242 square metre site at 52 Leichhardt Street, near Kingston Oval, one of Canberra’s most sought-after areas.

The proposal is at pre-DA stage and MPG will be conducting community consultation next week ahead of lodging a development application.

The house is unoccupied and the site is within walking distance of the Manuka and Kingston shops and some of Canberra’s best entertainment venues, retail shops, cafes and restaurants.

The neighbouring properties are also single residential houses but the site is zoned RZ5 High Density residential and properties in the surrounding area have recently been redeveloped with residential apartments up to four storeys in height.


READ ALSO: 454 units’ worth of mixed-use sites released in Gungahlin Town Centre


The opposite side of the street is zoned RZ1 Suburban Zone and consists of single residential dwellings.

Subject to the Griffith Precinct Code, buildings in the site area must be “predominantly three storeys, with a maximum height of four storeys only where it is not the dominant feature of a street frontage”.

Griffith block

The block is within walking distance of Manuka and Kingston shops. Image: Morris Property Group.

MPG says the urban renewal project will transform the site into a residential development that will meet local demand for accommodation, offering dwelling types suitable for singles, young professionals, families and active older residents seeking to downsize.

The nearby and much bigger Renaissance development is 95 per cent sold and developers are looking for sites in good locations as the Canberra housing market continues to run hot.

Most of the apartments will be two bedrooms (55-60 per cent), with one-bedrooms at 25-30 per cent and three-bedrooms comprising 10-15 per cent.

The development will include landscaped spaces and basement parking for residents, with one car space for the one-bedroom apartments and two for the rest.

The existing driveway on Leichhardt Street will remain for residents to access the basement car park.

MPG says sustainable features may include passive solar orientation of buildings, stormwater capture and reuse on site, energy efficient apartments with water and energy-efficient appliances and the use of sustainable building materials.

It says the project’s high-quality architecture will also improve the local area.

“The proposed plan is consistent with government policy for redevelopment of the site and demonstrates continued investor confidence as well as employment in the construction sector in Canberra,” it said.

MPG will conduct three community consultation sessions next week – two at its ACT office in Barton and one virtually.

The first two will take place at 50 Blackall Street, Barton on Wednesday 5 May and Thursday 6 May both from 4:30 – 5:30 pm.

More details on the virtual session will be available, along with further updates, on the project website.


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7 Responses to Demand drives four-storey apartment proposal for Griffith house site
jared jared 11:05 pm 03 May 21

Good. Build more. You shouldn’t need to be a multi millionaire to live in a suburb with good access to amenities

Roz Edmunds Roz Edmunds 8:04 pm 03 May 21

Unfortunately four storeys in planning quickly becomes six storeys when built and the long shadows ruin the quality of life and views for surrounding homes Check out Farrer. Failure to respect the residents.

Virginia Dodson Virginia Dodson 7:32 pm 03 May 21

Soon there won’t be any of old Canberra left. ‘ The high quality architecture will improve the local area.’ Hardly. More likely destroy the streetscape.

Paul Leins Paul Leins 8:40 pm 02 May 21

"Demand drives" ... don't they mean "accomodation hoarding forces"?

Teresa Layton Teresa Layton 3:15 pm 02 May 21

Such a shame they aren’t building some townhouses instead 😞

    Michele Gorman Michele Gorman 8:11 am 03 May 21

    Teresa Layton agree, there aren't enough, they would be scooped up very quickly.

ChrisinTurner ChrisinTurner 3:03 pm 02 May 21

4 stories at this location must be an ambit claim.

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