Canberra property developer Geocon will fast-track its $1 billion mixed-use Republic precinct in Belconnen, with the development to be completed in just over three years instead of the original three-stage, 10-year timeline.
Geocon said it was responding to unprecedented demand for apartments in the national capital, and construction of the precinct’s Republic, Dusk and High Society buildings would now occur concurrently after the company last week clinched a financing deal with Goldman Sachs.
“Rather than a staged build as originally anticipated, we are taking the unprecedented step of delivering the first four buildings at once – almost 1000 apartments of the 1250 total,” Geocon managing director Nick Georgalis said.
Designed by Fender Katsalidis Architects – the architects responsible for NewActon, Melbourne’s Eureka Tower and Hobart’s MONA – the precinct will feature Canberra’s two tallest towers at 113 metres and 110 metres.
Located at Section 200, on the corner of Cameron Avenue, Eastern Valley Way and Emu Bank, the Republic precinct will also include a public carpark, Melbourne-style laneways, a hotel, office spaces, landscaped public gardens and amphitheatre plus cafes and restaurants.
Mr Georgalis said the company would deliver more than half a billion dollars worth of stock to help a rental market that had reached crisis point.
He said that with Canberra’s rental costs among the highest in the nation and vacancy rates at almost zero, there was no choice but to accelerate the project and release more stock quickly to a starved market.
Mr Georgalis said demand for Republic had been intense with 70 per cent of Stage 1 sold before a shovel was in the ground.
“Stage 2, High Society, hasn’t even been launched yet but we’ve been inundated with inquiries, with more than 1000 registrations of interest,” he said.
Mr Georgalis said Canberra was being transformed with light rail and urban renewal and offered the best opportunity for investors in the country.
“Going up, not out, is the only sensible way to meet the future demands of Australia’s fastest developing capital,” he said.