3 June 2022

Lawson, Holt land releases to deliver hundreds of new homes

| Ian Bushnell
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Land release site map

An aerial view of Lawson showing the two sites to be auctioned. Images: SLA.

The ACT Government’s development arm is releasing more land for housing, with blocks in Belconnen going under the hammer to developers at the end of the month.

The Suburban Land Agency recently released Turner Place to the market. A key block on the Northbourne light rail corridor with the potential for 477 apartments, it will be auctioned online on 28 June.

Now it has released two blocks in Lawson as part of Stage 2 development plans and one in Holt on the Kippax shops car park as part of the long-awaited but contested Group Centre redevelopment.

Both are multi-unit development sites with the Lawson blocks capable of 207 dwellings and the Holt one, marketed as Holt Central, having the potential for 30, as well as ground-floor commercial.

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The two Lawson sites (Section 50, Block 1, 8091 sqm; and Section 51, Block 1, 9372 sqm) are located adjacent to Ginninderra Drive.

The first is zoned RZ4, with potential for 32 to 57 dwellings, five of which must be affordable.

The bigger second block is zoned RZ5 and can hold 66 to 150 dwellings, 10 of which must be affordable.

Lawson is only 3 km from the Belconnen Town Centre and within walking distance of the University of Canberra campus and hospital, and Lake Ginninderra.

Map of Belconnen land being sold

A view of Kippax Fair and the section of the car park to be auctioned.

The SLA says further development of Lawson Stage 2 will include amenities such as more than 10 km of walking paths, a neighbourhood park, a lakeside amphitheatre along the lake foreshore, a small commercial and shopping precinct, and a lake jetty and boardwalk.

Both sites can be purchased individually at auction.

The SLA says Holt Central will be critical to the success of the planned transformation of Kippax Fair, which has been criticised by those opposed to the loss of open space.

The second stage of the government’s separate Expression of Interest process for the Kippax Fair redevelopment will be concluded later this year.

This 2751 sqm site (Block 5, Section 53) is zoned CZ2 Business and favours a mixed-use development with retail and hospitality opportunities.

There are sustainability conditions to the sale – the development must include electric vehicle charging points and be all-electric, with no gas connections.

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The SLA says it is seeking visionary developers for the site to help shape a new future for Holt and the Kippax Group Centre.

“Located on the grounds of a long-standing community shopping centre, Holt holds the opportunities for a developer to capitalise on its space, convenience and thriving community,” it says.

The second stage of the government’s Expression of Interest process for the Kippax Fair will be concluded later this year.

The Lawson online auction will take place at 11 am on 27 June, and for Holt Central at 11 am on Monday 30 June.

The Lawson sale is being managed by Colliers, while JLL has carriage of Holt Central.

Both Colliers and JLL are handling the Turner sale.

The sale of packaged lots in Oaks Estate by the SLA has been postponed due to unforeseen circumstances.

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It was all c heaper before the the developers arived in town. ‘Remember When ‘ the land was leased and cheaper, and every block had a lease purpose clause with restrictions?
Much easier to provide god planning to encompass essential services. Now it’s all about the dollar with all residents contributing ever increasing rates to support infrastructure we dont use.
Hospitals before light rail, Education before freeways, Houses, not units, before high rise slums of the future, etc!

“Remember When ‘ the land was leased and cheaper, and every block had a lease purpose clause with restrictions?”

It still is.

What you may be referencing is “remember when the land was massively subsidised and was released in an unsustainable fashion, leading to many of the problems we have today”.

You can’t continue to have urban sprawl, we simply don’t have the developable land and it only leads to further societal problems.

And if you’re actually worried about higher rates and taxes, a sprawled city costs more to service than a compact one.

Clearly the solution to housing affordability is to auction off plots of land to developers to build apartments on. Apparently the only two types of people in Canberra are those who want to live in an 8×8 square with 1000 other people or can afford to hand over $1.5M for anything resembling a backyard.

Capital Retro6:00 pm 08 Jun 22

All to be units which I suppose are homes for many but what has happened to the houses?

Kelley horan9:31 pm 06 Jun 22

I guess no more Bush Capital as I remember.

It is with some concern that I learn of the pending release of land in Lawson for development. This block represents one of the few remaining areas of native grassland with potential habitat for the critically endangered Canberra Grassland Earless Dragon.
This news presents as the left hand of the Barr administration not knowing what the right hand is doing- or it does, then it does not care.

Oh cry me a river! First it’s millennials lamenting “unaffordable” house prices and next it’s the bearded earless brainless stick lizard of Lawson!

For an animal that is critically endangered, the Canberra Grassland Earless Dragon certainly gets around. It seems every land development anywhere in the ACT is taking away this guys habitat. Maybe they are more common than we think.

Capital Retro6:11 pm 08 Jun 22

It may be earless but it’s not legless.

Well that should help the parking at Kippax…

Releasing more land to developers is good but they are still a LONG way away from blocks of land being available for sale or for building to begin. More land needs to be released on an ongoing basis instead of the drip feed that happens right now.

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