21 November 2023

Kippax Fair owners unveil big expansion plans, press government on land sale

| Ian Bushnell
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An artist’s impression of the expanded Kippax Fair showing the apartment buildings. Images: Kippax Fair.

Two new supermarkets, a community hub and 300 homes are part of the latest proposed expansion plans for the Kippax Fair shopping centre in Holt.

The owners of Kippax Fair, the Christodoulou family, have unveiled its concept plans for a much bigger centre with three times as much retail space, new full-line supermarkets, speciality shops, food and dining options, parking, community facilities and parks.

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The family has submitted the plans to the ACT Government in another bid for it to sell them the 2 ha of adjacent land slated for such a development in the hope that it can begin preparing a formal development application.

This land can accommodate a gross floor area of 5000 square metres for commercial and retail use, as well as residential, including a requirement for 12 affordable housing dwellings.

The family had sought a direct sale, but the government rejected this and in 2021 launched a two-stage expression of interest 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.

The main entrance to the centre. The land can accommodate 5000 sqm of retail and commercial space.

The government says it remains committed to a competitive process for the land and Stage 2 dates for its sale and development are still to be finalised.

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.

In 2020, the approval of Draft Variation 361 paved the way for the expansion across the playing fields.

The new proposal includes two new and modern full-line supermarkets, including both Woolworths and Coles, as well as the existing Aldi store.

A new underground carpark for shoppers would be big enough for 450 spaces and a second stage would be built for the apartment residents.

render of proposed development

A wider view of the front of the centre.

A rendering of the proposed centre shows four buildings with four levels of apartments above the shops offering one, two and three-bedroom units.

The plans also promise a new skate park, dining and social precinct, community hub with meeting rooms, a new library and pocket parks.

Kippax Fair says on the project website that the concept plans are the latest step in its long journey to try to deliver to West Belconnen residents the retail and community amenity needed in a major group centre.

“For the past decade, we have kept the community informed of our plans and efforts to get the ACT Government to agree to our vision and fulfil the approved Kippax Group Centre Master Plan, which now features in the new Belconnen District Strategy,” it says.

“We hope to have a decision by government before the end of this year.”

proposed food court

The food hall concept. The expansion would create 500 new permanent jobs.

A new Kippax Fair would be built over two stages, with the expansion towards Moyes Crescent commencing first, which will also include the proposed new community hub, followed by the redevelopment of the existing shopping centre fronting Hardwick Crescent, including eliminating the slope in the centre.

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About 800 construction jobs are expected to be created during the development, with 500 new permanent jobs in the expanded Kippax Fair.

Demand for a new, bigger Kippax Fair is strong as West Belconnen, including the Ginninderry development, grows.

The plans are displayed in Kippax Fair at the stage area opposite the entrance to Woolworths.

The development team includes Nikias Diamond, Bronte Group and Cox Architecture.

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Wonderful Wonderful news for Kippax! An area plauged by crime and decline will now hopefully get much needed investment. And private investment at that! No need for government handouts! WIN WIN!

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