Eight-storey development at Mawson shopping centre in ACT Government plan

Lachlan Roberts 14 June 2019 49

The old Mawson shopping precinct. File photo.

A second supermarket and an eight-storey development will move into the local Mawson shopping centre as the ACT Government outlines its plans to rejuvenate and revive the centre.

The ACT Government’s territory plan variation 345 will allow new construction opportunities and rejuvenation of buildings within the centre and also rezones several areas including land along Athllon Drive between Woden and Mawson for high density residential and urban open space.

The variation puts key recommendations of the Mawson master plan into action, which will guide the centre’s development over the next two decades, with hopes the changes will improve the centre’s commercial viability by increasing foot traffic and shop patronage.

Despite the plan retaining the two storey height limit within the central area to retain sun access to the public courtyards, it proposes the development of four and six storeys to the east of Heard Street and six storeys to the west of Mawson Place.

It also allows for development up to eight storeys near the southeastern corner of the intersection of Athllon Drive and Mawson Drive as a marker development for the centre, as recommended by the approved master plan.

A draft of the plan was released for public comment for four months in 2017, with the ACT Government receiving a total of 21 written submissions.

Local residents wrote 12 submissions, as well as four submissions from local businesses, three submissions from community groups and one submission from a company with an interest in the centre.

ACT Minister for Planning and Land Management Mick Gentleman said one of the main points the community stressed on was the retention of the surface car parking areas. He said that there was concern additional development will impact on parking.

Mr Gentleman said those fears will be allayed as the new plan will retain and capitalise on the plenty of available parking at the centre and believed Mawson residents will enjoy a more lively and accessible shopping centre.

“There are opportunities for moderately increased density in the centre and we have worked with the local community to identify suitable sites for higher-density development along Athlon Drive,” Mr Gentleman said.

“This redevelopment will be important for the ongoing viability of the centre. It’s also a great opportunity for business owners within the centre to rejuvenate their buildings.

“Mawson is close to a main public transport route and plenty of available parking and the new plan will retain and capitalise on these qualities.”

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49 Responses to Eight-storey development at Mawson shopping centre in ACT Government plan
Someonesmother Someonesmother 12:00 am 21 Jun 19

Can someone sack Mick Gentleman please? He is approving developments that do not fit with the area they are planned for. You cannot park in Mawson now so where the hell are all these towering, concrete bedroom dwellers going to park? Oh right in the parking areas for shoppers. yet another shopping centre I will avoid as it will be impossible to get a park anywhere near the shops. People with disablilites are bever ever considered when they approve these crap flyby night developments.

Rachel Muscarella Rachel Muscarella 1:53 pm 18 Jun 19

Parking is already terrible. They mention that they will capitalise on parking space, how exactly?

Eric Katic Eric Katic 12:37 pm 18 Jun 19

Hopefully there isn’t a Mawson Residence Association

Tegan Martin Tegan Martin 6:57 pm 17 Jun 19

Mawson is still full of Canberras worst drivers. What will it matter when everyone with a halfway decent car can't park there!

Jeanette Hodgess Jeanette Hodgess 5:23 pm 17 Jun 19

I used to love newyears night in brisbane where the fountain in King george poeple would put food coloring and detergent. lots and lots of colored bubbles.

Imchan Raman Imchan Raman 5:08 pm 17 Jun 19

Claudia Angelique Dude I used to play around that fountain all the time as a kid cos mum and dad owned our restaurant in Mawson for most of my early childhood

Darren Broadbent Darren Broadbent 7:18 pm 16 Jun 19

Cause ACT government just want GEOCON build more apartments

HiddenDragon HiddenDragon 5:56 pm 16 Jun 19

“Mr Gentleman said those fears will be allayed as the new plan will retain and capitalise on the plenty of available parking….”

That presumably means reduced time limits and parking meters, which will do wonders for the businesses in that area.

This recent story from the ABC Business show may be relevant to the “rejuvenation of buildings within the centre” referred to above –


Valerie Forbes Valerie Forbes 4:34 pm 16 Jun 19

As long as my coffee shop stays😉

Kiera Nestoroski Kiera Nestoroski 3:51 pm 16 Jun 19

Janice sounds exciting

Dory Johns Dory Johns 2:25 pm 16 Jun 19

I was hoping the ACT government would just continue screwing up the Northside and leave the Southside alone

Carole Ford Carole Ford 11:58 am 16 Jun 19

So they can screw it up like they did at Curtin shops.

letterboxfrog letterboxfrog 11:17 am 16 Jun 19

As long as rents don’t explode forcing the likes of Jabal Halal out, this will be good. Mawson has so much potential as a multicultural melting pot, and as a facility that isn’t run by Westfield or one of the other major shopping centre chains.

MERC600 MERC600 10:51 am 16 Jun 19

The old club next to the Austrian club has been demolished. Does anyone know what is happening to this site. ?

Julia Ross Julia Ross 10:34 am 16 Jun 19

I hope it's successful. I like Mawson shopping centre. It is so sad to see so many empty shops. The dark dingy alleyways need to be altered to make it more inviting.

    Pam Wood Pam Wood 10:55 am 16 Jun 19

    Couldn't be rates hike closing a lot of businesses - could it?

Kyeen Grivas Kyeen Grivas 10:17 am 16 Jun 19

Eric Green how good is this?

Anthony Olivera Anthony Olivera 8:59 am 16 Jun 19

Jayde Robb Rumour has it that an Aldi will pop up there. Any apartments along Athllon with a tram eventually being built would really spruce up Mawson.

Mark Ryan Mark Ryan 8:47 am 16 Jun 19

This is welcomed news. As a long term business established at Southlands in 1969 one of the first next to Plaka. #RrFabricare has seen the mix of population change over the decades. To remain viable something has to change because as it stands now it is a real struggle to stay open.

petunia petal petunia petal 8:16 am 16 Jun 19

I used to hate any urban infill in Canberra but have completely come around to the idea because its actually the best way forward for the environment, other than reducing our immigration and birth rate to replacement only levels. We can’t keep building out and taking over animals’ habitats. In saying that, the dwellings being built are offensive, ugly, cheap, poorly designed and all about maximising apartments for profit. Imagine if the government actually mandated what comprises a liveable space, proper architectural design, large apartments with big bedrooms, green spaces around for kids, proper orientation etc. Imagine. In the meantime I happened to walk past on of the major developer’s offices in the city late on Friday night and it was a nightclub. These guys are swimming in money as we are the mugs paying for it all.

    rationalobserver rationalobserver 4:43 pm 18 Jun 19

    Not convinced urban infill is good for the environment. More and more unsustainable units that use heaps of resources to build and with zero potential for growing local produce or solar generation are in fact the opposite.

    bj_ACT bj_ACT 5:23 pm 18 Jun 19

    I’m with you Rationalobserver.
    Highly densely populated areas actually have a huge carbon footprint per person compared to other less densely populated areas. If anyone thinks people in Manhattan or Central Sydney have a lower carbon footprint and higher sustainability than the people of a town like Tumut or a Suburb like Richardson, than they are kidding themselves.

    An economy class plane trip to Europe for a rich family uses roughly the same emissions as the family car does over two decades of use. There are Plenty of studies into the real greenhouse measurements of inner urban dwellers and the poorly captured data for high density city residents that ignores their real consumption costs.

    It’s time to get honest on the actual cost of high density living as reality doesn’t necessarily match what developers say and what people think.

    My 1 bedroom Braddon renters (2 year old, 5 story property) actually use more electricity a year than we use in our large suburban house. It’s crazy.

Jessica Hoverman Jessica Hoverman 3:29 am 16 Jun 19

I love the diversity of small grocers in Mawson which gives great variety. The Lebanese nut and pulse shop, the middle eastern grocer, the butcher and green grocer, the Asian grocery shop. Another supermarket will probably kill them off and that would be devastating.

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 8:11 am 16 Jun 19

    Jessica Hoverman customers kill business not other businesses.

    Alison Brittliff Alison Brittliff 8:34 am 16 Jun 19

    Jessica Hoverman I go to these shops first, only to the supermarket for what I can’t buy there

    Amanda Evans Amanda Evans 9:16 am 16 Jun 19

    Jessica Hoverman yes me too.

    Julia Ross Julia Ross 10:36 am 16 Jun 19

    I like the diversity of shops too, having another supermarket there won't encourage me to change my shopping habits.

    Jessica Hoverman Jessica Hoverman 2:05 pm 16 Jun 19

    Ashley, I'm afraid I don't agree when it comes to supermarkets and their well documented predatory pricing.

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 5:57 pm 16 Jun 19

    Jessica Hoverman if the existing business was providing the service the customer wanted and price the customer wanted they would stay.

    As I said customers kill business. By CHOOSING to shop elsewhere.

    Benita Sommerville Benita Sommerville 7:54 pm 18 Jun 19

    Jessica Hoverman - Troy and I are worried, too!

    Jane Kim Jane Kim 3:47 pm 22 Jun 19

    Those shops you mention are far better than Woolworths. A second supermarket there won't change our habits. We will still prefer the small businesses.

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