Geocon has revealed a glimpse of the commercial hub of its massive Republic development in Belconnen, saying about half the 6,500 square metres of floor space was already half sold or leased.
The Canberra developer has fast-tracked the $1 billion development on a one-hectare site on the corner of Cameron Avenue, Eastern Valley Way and Emu Bank, thanks to a financing deal with global banker Goldman Sachs.
Stages 1 and 2 of the precinct, including the commercial, retail and hospitality accommodation, will now be completed by 2021.
Designed by architects Fender Katsalidis, Urban at Republic will have a cosmopolitan feel and aims to be a dynamic space for social interaction day and night.
Geocon Director of Commercial Sales and Leasing Mark Nicholls said Urban would set the benchmark for placemaking in Canberra.
“It will have the look and feel of Melbourne’s inner city cafe culture crossed with a London high street and a Parisian plaza,” he said.
Urban will house an anchor supermarket, a mix of food and beverage offerings, specialty retailers and professional service providers.
Mr Nicholls said these would be complemented by activated internal laneways, ‘green’ stairs and planters, as well as wide footpaths, street trees, and a bicycle hub.
Lying on the axis between the Town Centre and Lake Ginninderra and the government office precinct, Geocon believes Urban will be a dynamic environment during the day and late into the night as thousands of students, shoppers and workers make their way home.
He said demand for space in Urban had been strong.
“We have already agreed sales and leases on more than 3,000 square metres of the commercial space in the precinct and continue to receive enquiries on a daily basis,” he said.
“Business operators are drawn to being located on the doorstep of more than 1,200 apartments and a 133-room hotel, and having access to 500 onsite privately managed carparks for their staff and customers to use.”
Mr Nicholls said Geocon would soon be announcing some of the local and national brands that will occupy the precinct when completed.