29 October 2018

DOMA lodges plans to breathe new life into Woden's 'zombie' buildings

| Ian Bushnell
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An artist’s impression of the development. Photo: From the DA.

The Woden office blocks that stood abandoned for eight years will be transformed into a mixed-use residential precinct of 186 units, groundfloor commercial, pool and tennis court, parking for residents and landscaped communal space.

Developer DOMA Group have lodged a development application that says the $50 million project will bring a new opportunity for people to live and work within the Woden Town Centre.

“The ground floor will bring new and convenient services. The introduction of residential uses will contribute to the vibrancy of the nearby public spaces, particularly through activity and surveillance outside of normal business hours. The proposed public domain areas will create a high-quality environment for the enjoyment of residents, employees of nearby buildings and the public,” it says.

The proposal for the Alexander and Albemarle Buildings includes consolidation of the current blocks to a single lease covering a hectare, addition of uses to the lease including non-retail commercial, residential, shop, indoor recreation, drink establishment and restaurant.

It plans an extra floor to allow two-storey loft apartments at the top level. The annex buildings will be demolished, with structured car parks constructed to support the new uses.

Two penthouse apartments proposed within the taller parts of the building will result in a small part of the building being 12 storeys in height but these will be within the existing structure and the DA says there will be no additional impact.

The development will be a mix of 74 one, 86 two, 24 three and two four-bedroom units. Recreational areas include a pool and play court for resident use only. There will be 4860 square metres of commercial/retail space and two multi-storey carparks containing 292 parking spaces, 241 of which will be for residents.

There will be two motorcycle parking spaces for commercial/retail tenancies; 13 class 1 or 2 bicycle parking spaces for staff, and 14 class 3 bicycle parking spaces for visitors.

The DA says the development will include a landscaped zone between the Albemarle building car park and the pedestrian spine to screen the building and maintain the provision of green space in the town centre and will include a combination of evergreen and deciduous trees, which will allow winter sunshine. Landscaping also includes a rain garden to capture and use stormwater.

The car parks will also be landscaped and the main pedestrian access points will be sheltered by awnings.

The proposal says there will be substantial areas of communal open space at street level and on the rooftops for more exclusive activities.

In May, DOMA said the development would have a distinctly European feel and deliver on the promise of authentic warehouse living featuring genuine industrial features and space.

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That isn’t enough resident parking, surely. Assume that several of the one-beddies will be owned or rented by couples; ditto the two-beddies. The vast majority of the residents will be car owners. There should be nearly 300 car parks for residents, plus their visitors.

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