Former Northbourne public housing sites too pricey for tenderer

Ian Bushnell 29 May 2019 30

An aerial map showing the Braddon and Turner sites on Northbourne Avenue. Photo: Supplied.

In a setback for Government plans for the re-development of the former public housing sites on either side of Northbourne Avenue, the public tender for their sale has failed to find a buyer willing to meet the reserve price.

The former Northbourne Flats sites in Braddon and Turner were released for sale by tender last year, with potential buyers having to adhere to specific quality design conditions and consider their location on the gateway route into Canberra and proximity to light rail.

The City Renewal Authority conducted the tender process on behalf of the Suburban Land Agency, and it was marketed as Braddon and Turner on Northbourne, a combined 39,000 square metres of prime mixed-use land linking the city centre with the inner north.

The two blocks are part of the Asset Recycling Initiative and sit on either side of Northbourne Avenue to the north of Haig Park. They are zoned CZ5, mixed-use commercial, with a maximum of 886 dwellings permitted.

Marketing for the tender said the buyer would develop a landmark precinct that incorporated both sites and it required a design that visually connected them while making the most of each area’s individual personality.

The Suburban Land Agency Chief Executive Officer, John Dietz said in a statement that while the preferred tenderer developed an impressive response to the design criteria for the redevelopment, it had been unable to meet the reserve price for the sites.

“The reserve price reflects independent market values, as governed by the Suburban Land Agency’s pricing policy. Negotiations to improve the financial offer were unsuccessful,” Mr Dietz said.

The statement said the Suburban Land Agency and the City Renewal Authority would continue to work together, with input from industry to develop a new, well-rounded process.

City Renewal Authority Chief Executive Officer, Malcolm Snow said he looked forward to continuing to work with the Suburban Land Agency to determine a new process to realise the desired outcome for these two gateway sites.

“Braddon and Turner on Northbourne provide a very significant opportunity to create something very special that Canberrans can be proud of. We want to see development that is attractive, has high-quality public spaces, has a rich social mix, provides significant public benefit and contributes to the activity and vitality of the precinct,” Mr Snow said.

The statement said it was important for the ACT Government to accomplish high-quality design and place-making standards for Canberra’s gateway corridor.

The decision to conclude the tender showed the Government’s commitment to achieving a high-quality outcome for the two hallmark sites.

“The outcome is one that continues to seek quality for the Northbourne Avenue corridor as priority,” Mr Dietz said.

The tender for sale of the ex-Housing ACT sites closed in early October 2018 and was marketed nationally, with three proposals received.


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30 Responses to Former Northbourne public housing sites too pricey for tenderer
Lucy Baker Lucy Baker 7:58 pm 01 Jun 19

The city reached “peak apartments” some time ago. No way will Stage II developments on the way to Woden be a success if Northbourne blocks aren’t selling.

Cheryl Gay Cheryl Gay 8:57 pm 31 May 19

I love the park like look of the place after the demolition. If only it could stay that way instead of another concrete jungle.

nothappyjan nothappyjan 9:11 pm 30 May 19

Turn them in to cheap all day multistorey carparks for city workers who will then increase the foot traffic for businesses in the area. Might help justify the silly tram too. Might also help encourage people to walk or ride a little bit each day which has its own health and cost benefits.

    JC JC 6:02 am 01 Jun 19

    This is Canberra. Nothing will encourage people to walk that little bit further. We are all so used to having a carpark 200m from our desks.

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 3:54 pm 01 Jun 19

    And there is nothing wrong with that, especially in the only city in the world designed to have the motor car as the prime method of transport. We are a city that residents of cities that have no room for cars are envious of.

    astro2 astro2 8:19 am 02 Jun 19

    Firstly, Canberra is not” the only city in the world designed to have the motor car as the prime method of transport”. If it was Griffin would not have included light rail (then called tramways), in the design of the city. Secondly I don’t know anyone who wants to live in a giant car park. The traffic problems of places like Los Angeles are legendary. Thirdly, if you want to reduce the hospital waiting times, reduce the number of people needing to be there; i.e. improve people’s health by doing what the human body is designed to do…walk.

Lucy Baker Lucy Baker 8:26 pm 30 May 19

Not looking promising for funding Stage Two!

Mike Mikeyp Mike Mikeyp 8:17 pm 30 May 19

Stay strong ACT Gov. Don’t let these developers bully you.

Peter Tzanetos Peter Tzanetos 8:15 pm 30 May 19

Maybe drop the reserve so that there is insentive for developers to put more money in the design. #greedygovernment

Drew Reis Drew Reis 10:51 am 30 May 19

Raise the height limits a bit more and make proper bold landmark buildings including parks and gardens that can be appreciated on the world stage, not just locally. Maybe then the expensive price for land will be worth it for good Architects and Developers. Here’s some examples:

    Tanzil Hossain Tanzil Hossain 12:43 pm 01 Jun 19

    Great idea, but no one has the budget to buy one of these places. A highrise there would look out of place.

    Drew Reis Drew Reis 9:13 pm 01 Jun 19

    It’s perfect for the city area - Downtown. Considering the city area will need to expand due to height limits. The city can expand north to Midtown along Northbourne Avenue. Perhaps this would be perfect for West Basin!How beautifully spectacular 🥳🍾🥂☀️🌴🌇🎆🎇🏙🌃

Grimm Grimm 10:14 am 30 May 19

So a heap of stupid conditions on the development, as well as what I can only guess is a far too high asking price, have made it nonviable basically. The pack of clowns currently running the ACT really need to get the boot soon.

Capital Retro Capital Retro 8:39 am 30 May 19

The Barrtopia project to transform Northbourne Avenue has tanked.

I feel sorry for all those mum & dad investors who have purchased a box off the plan.

    JC JC 4:55 pm 01 Jun 19

    Wishful thinking it would seem.

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 7:43 pm 01 Jun 19

    I know some of them and they are hurting – I would prefer it to be “wishful” but that’s what this disaster has become namely hopeful for those who created it and hopeless for those who knew what the outcome would be.

    Not too late for you to change sides JC.

    JC JC 8:20 am 02 Jun 19

    Maybe when the other side has given a reason to change, you know like providing a vision for the future.

    This is one of the reasons I voted for the other side in the one state election I voted in when I lived in Sydney (they lost though), and why I would have voted Liberal in NSW at the last state election if I had of lived there.

    And like it or not at least Labor here has a plan for the future. We can of course disagree about that plan but to me personally what they are offering is the only realistic option at the moment to accomodate the growth of this city.

Stan Vizovitis Stan Vizovitis 7:13 am 30 May 19

Obviously their longlunch mates have met their quota. Plus it doesn't help when more shoddy work and practices come to light

Chris Hobbs Chris Hobbs 2:56 am 30 May 19

Oh no, how to pay for the light rail now? Eek

Darren Sault Darren Sault 11:15 pm 29 May 19

None of the 3 bidders met the Government’s price - isn’t the market saying it’s too expensive?

    Leigh Brady Leigh Brady 8:40 am 30 May 19

    Darren, the headline used is misleading. The preferred tenderer didn’t make it to the govt price - I haven’t seen anything in any of the articles about the other two tenderers.

Brett Back-Crane Brett Back-Crane 9:22 pm 29 May 19

I drove past them today. It would be great if they left them undeveloped and made them into family friendly parks.

Matthew Pez Matthew Pez 8:21 pm 29 May 19

They should can the whole idea and build more public housing on the land.

Russell Nankervis Russell Nankervis 7:54 pm 29 May 19

What is the Greens' policy on thism

Jenny Purseglove Jenny Purseglove 7:26 pm 29 May 19

Is that because the Government is too greedy???

    Peter Tzanetos Peter Tzanetos 8:17 pm 30 May 19

    They need to keep rates high don't forget.cant have property prices fall

Brent Carlisle Brent Carlisle 6:26 pm 29 May 19

Not surprised with Labors unit title tax of $30,000 extra per unit. That’s really making housing affordable not.

Capital Retro Capital Retro 5:48 pm 29 May 19

“The reserve price reflects independent market values, as governed by the Suburban Land Agency’s pricing policy. “

They seem to be different to those policies used by the previous LDA.

    JC JC 6:05 am 01 Jun 19

    Wasn’t that the point of restructuring the LDA?

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 3:55 pm 01 Jun 19

    I was being sarcastic but thanks for supporting me.

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