Eastlake Football Club is looking to redevelop its Kaleen site with a possible residential project of up to 110 dwellings as it moves like many ACT clubs to diversify its income streams.
The Kaleen site in Georgina Crescent was the only one of Eastlake’s clubs not to reopen after they were forced to close their doors due to COVID-19 in 2020, but it was already under pressure because of the ACT Government’s moves to reduce poker machines and the building’s age.
Eastlake had been seeking a Territory Plan Variation as far back as 2016 to give it more options for the site but CEO Anthony Ratcliffe said the move became tangled up with the ACT Government’s review of TPVs amid a flurry of redevelopment bids from golf clubs.
Now Eastlake has lodged a development application to change its market Crown lease to allow residential development of up to 110 multi-units and maintain an indoor recreation facility for public use but limited to 1400 square metres without a fitness centre (gym/gymnasium, yoga, Pilates or crossfit venue) or associated amenities.
It also would maintain carparking spaces to the satisfaction of the Territory, instead of the current minimum of 85 spaces.
The site is currently occupied by a building and surface car park.
Mr Ratcliffe said the DA to change the lease was the second phase of the TPV process but nothing definitive had been decided for the site.
“At this stage we don’t have any significant plans in train,” he said. “The board is still considering all its options.
“It’s fair to say the building came to the end of its useful life a while ago, so the site needs to be redone.
“How that looks and feels is still up to decisions and negotiations and considerations by the board.”
Mr Ratcliffe said the Government’s pokies agenda had forced the club’s hand somewhat because it did have to then consider where its machines would be located.
He did not know whether Eastlake would retain a presence on the site after any redevelopment, and the club was looking at all its sites as part of long-term planning.
The club had engaged Purdon Planning to review all its land assets to future proof Eastlake if it needed to change direction.
The other sites, in Kingston, Gungahlin and Calwell, were trading well but the club needed to have a long-term strategic plan if the situation changed, Mr Ratcliffe said.
Initial plans for a possible redevelopment, prepared by Stewart Architecture in the DA, show four two to four-storey apartment buildings on the roughly rectangular 7575sq m site (Block 4, Section 89), surrounding a central garden.
A three-storey building houses the club facility on the ground floor, with apartments on top. The three others will have basements for parking.
The plans show a mix of one to three-bedroom apartments.
The planning report prepared by Purdon Planning says the proposed added residential uses are considered consistent with the CZ5 zone objectives by encouraging higher-density residential development with convenient access to public transport, commercial and employment centres, and providing for a diversity of living, working and recreation opportunities.
“The added residential uses on the lease will contribute to providing a mixture of compatible land uses (business, office, residential, retail) on the site,” it says.
The report says sufficient car parking will be provided on or off site, in accordance with the Parking and Vehicular Access General Code.
The site is directly opposite the Kaleen Group Centre car park.
The report says the development will increase the traffic flow for the surrounding road network and a future DA will be accompanied by a traffic management plan.
“However, given the surrounding sites are predominantly for commercial and residential uses, the traffic generated by the additional uses is considered manageable within the capacity of the surrounding road network,” it says.
Any potential noise, odour and light emissions generated by the residential development are considered minor and will not have significant impacts on the surrounding areas, the report says.
It says the proposed residential development is considered compatible with the existing surrounding uses.
The site is bounded by the St Mark Coptic Orthodox Church and early childhood centre on CFZ Community Facility Zone to the north, detached single and two-storey houses to the south and Kaleen Group Centre to the east.