Canberra’s biggest developer, Geocon, has paid $24 million for a prime city site that offers unlimited potential for mixed-use development.
The substantial 7,640 square metre parcel at 70 Allara Street was sold by Andrew Stewart and Stuart Cox of Savills Australia, who said the site was underpinned by a strong urban renewal program in the ACT and a shift to creating dense urban precincts in Canberra.
Among the projects on the drawing board, Mr Stewart cited Stage 1 of the Capital Metro Light Rail, the planned Civic to Woden Light Rail Stage 2 route, the ACT Law Courts PPP and new ACT Government Headquarters.
“All of these projects are located within a 10-minute walk of 70 Allara Street,” Mr Stewart said.
Savills says both the National Land status and the 99-year Crown lease offers unrestricted residential uses for 70 Allara Street, as well as broad range of complementary uses including office, retail and hotel.
The site at the southern end of Allara Street near the Canberra Olympic Pool, can accommodate buildings 25 metres high and has a 96-metre long frontage to London Circuit.
A Geocon spokesperson said that while the company had no specific plans as yet for the site, the goal was to develop it into a mixed-use residential precinct as per the zoning and conditions of sale.
It would join the nearby 520-unit residential precinct Geocon is developing in Reid opposite Glebe Park, including the Metropol, Tryst and Envie projects.
Minutes off the southern end of City Walk and the entrance to the Canberra Centre, the site’s big selling point is convenience, says Savills.
The property is situated within an area identified as a future growth corridor and the immediate area is home to a number of large Commonwealth and local agencies, as well as Casino Canberra, the National Convention Centre and the pool, which has been touted as the site for city stadium.
The University of NSW Canberra, in partnership with the ACT Government, is also planning to develop a new campus on the site of the current CIT Reid on Constitution Avenue.
Director of Residential Site Sales at Savills Stuart Cox said there had been a significant increase in interest for residential sites close to transport, retail and education facilities from a mix of individuals, well-established local developers, interstate developers and student accommodation groups looking to capitalise on the economy recovering sooner than expected.
Mr Stewart said 70 Allara Street had the ability to push the development envelope.
“No gross floor area restrictions will ensure Geocon can create a landmark design and maximise the final development yield,” he said.
Savills said that despite the implications of the COVID-19 global pandemic, 70 Allara Street was a sought-after property, with nine bidders in the first round shortlisted to three in the final round.