Hunt on for Kippax developer as Government opens EOI process

Ian Bushnell 3 June 2021 4
Kippax Fair

Kippax Fair owners remain committed to expanding the centre. Photo: File.

An expanded Kippax Group Centre would make it one of the largest in Canberra and the only one to be anchored by all three major supermarket operators.

According to documents from the ACT Government’s expression of interest (EOI) process to find a developer, the two hectares of land adjacent to Kippax Fair could accommodate a gross floor area of 5000 square metres for commercial and retail use, as well as some residential, including a requirement for 12 affordable housing dwellings.

The land currently includes part of the Holt District Playing Fields, a skateboarding half pipe; two government-owned buildings, including the former Kippax Health Building and a toilet block/change room.

The Government rejected a direct sale to the Kippax Fair owners, the Christodoulou family, who had developed and operated the centre for 40 years and were committed to its expansion.

Instead it has opted for a two-stage EOI process to first gauge interest and then consider offers for the land and/or concept development plans, including how these will integrate into the existing Kippax Group Centre.

Last year’s approval of Draft Variation 361 paved the way for the expansion across the playing fields but the community had become increasingly frustrated at the Government’s slow progress on making the land available for development.


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Some residents also remained opposed to the loss of open space.

West Belconnen’s population is growing and the current centre is already under pressure as the Ginninderry suburbs come on line.

A retail study included in the EOI says the main trade area population is projected to reach more than 45,500 residents by mid-2031.

“There is considered sound scope for additional retail floorspace to be added to Kippax Group Centre over the next decade, with the preferred anchor tenant for inclusion being a third supermarket, preferably a full-line Coles supermarket,” it says.

Kippax site map

The Kippax land to be developed. Image: ACT Government.

Its analysis shows that an expansion of 5000 square metres is supportable in 2024, with the supermarket supported by a mini-major such as a Chemist Warehouse discount pharmacy, as well as a dedicated fresh food precinct and additional retail services.

“If the expansion were to proceed, the Kippax Group Centre would accommodate over 15,000 square metres of retail floor space making it one of the largest Group Centres in Canberra and the only one to be anchored by all three major supermarket operators,” the analysis says.

The developer of the Kippax Group Centre expansion will face flood mitigation works, more investigations to gauge the level of contaminated land and be responsible for the removal of playing field irrigation.

A flood study shows that overland flow paths within the Kippax Group Centre study area do not have sufficient capacity to cope with a one-in-100 year flood event, and that minor flooding occurs along Hardwick Crescent during storms.

Flooding would be mitigated by the inclusion of water sensitive urban design elements including on-site detention storage and in effect, reducing off-site flows to pre-development level, it says.

A desktop site investigation found there was currently insufficient information to assess whether the site is suitable for the proposed development from a contamination perspective.

A more detailed investigation which includes soil and groundwater sampling is recommended to further investigate the contamination risk, it says.

The EOI closes on 25 July.


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4 Responses to Hunt on for Kippax developer as Government opens EOI process
Widya Santoso Widya Santoso 4:17 pm 06 Jun 21

What did the Kippax developer do?

Oh wait~

Tony Pringle Tony Pringle 9:35 pm 07 Jun 21

Objections from residents have been completely ignored by the govt. The playing fields are community green space and should remain so. The development proposed will take over all of the green space not part of it. The space was rezoned for six level high rise residential not the shopping centre. Tell the truth this development is rotten to the core too many lies and disingenuous comment. I also object to my taxes paying to mitigate the flood issues to pave the way for the developers. No democracy in the territory.

    Vanessa Jones Vanessa Jones 12:03 pm 08 Jun 21

    Tony Pringle Good comment Tony.

    Tony Pringle Tony Pringle 3:12 pm 08 Jun 21

    Adam Leayr I respect your opinion there will always be mire than one view. I just see no need to build residential high-risk as part of a shopping centre development went the original plan included a bigger shopping centre whilst maintaining the green space. It would have worked well. Also there are fewer playing fields for amateur sports. I know that field was used for touch football in the evenings and was popular as it has quite a bit of parking. Did you also know that the community consultation was organised by the the developers and was by invitation only so no surprises on outcomes. Anyway thanks for your interest.

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