15 June 2022

Lifestyle precincts buzzing as Canberrans embrace the 'live, work, play' mantra

| Katrina Condie
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Six people seated in a cafe setting.

Cafes within lifestyle precincts are a great place to get to know your neighbours. Photo: Crowthers Property.

It’s no wonder Canberrans are making a beeline for contemporary lifestyle precincts. They offer vibrant city living in prime locations with everything at your fingertips.

From hip professionals and young families to downsizers, home buyers from all walks of life are seeking the life-work balance found in people-centric apartment villages.

Whether it’s edgy urban living close to the CBD or a laid-back lux retreat on the city fringe, one-stop-shop lifestyle precincts incorporating communal gardens, trendy bars, restaurants and professional offices are popping up all over Canberra.

Crowthers Property director Charles Crowther said demand for precinct living was on the rise as people sought contemporary, low-maintenance homes in prime locations such as Braddon, Acton and the Kingston Foreshore.

He said precincts were an attractive option and offered something for everyone – from first-home buyers and families to downsizers and investors.

“These precincts are a fabulous lifestyle choice, offering that friendly neighbourhood feel without actually living in suburbia,” Mr Crowther said.

“They offer the best of both worlds, with smaller apartments and fantastic shared outdoor spaces such as barbecue areas, playgrounds and gardens.”

When completed in 2014, NewActon set the standard for Canberra’s urban precinct living.

City courtyard area.

Lifestyle precincts feature gardens and interesting communal spaces. Photo: Crowthers Property.

Mr Crowther said the precinct’s mixture of residential and commercial buildings, trendy bars, cafes and private movie cinema got Canberrans excited about a new way of living.

“Since NewActon, we’ve seen an upswing of interest in lifestyle villages across the city,” he said.

But it’s not just Canberrans snapping up the modern apartments. Sydneysiders and Melburnians are flocking to the precincts.

“City people from interstate want that dynamic atmosphere and are accustomed to having coffee shops, restaurants and gyms right on their doorstep,” Mr Crowther said.

As well as shared facilities that extend to wine cellars and microbreweries, the communities have formed communal gardens, wine tasting clubs, social and sporting groups. They also hold events such as group outings, Christmas parties and family picnic days.

It’s a real social atmosphere you would normally find in a village or the suburbs, but it’s right in the heart of the city.

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Mr Crowther said location and proximity to services, parks, walkways and shops made the precincts highly sought across all demographics – from families and couples to empty-nesters.

“People can pop downstairs for a meal or a drink, duck to the shops and be within walking distance to gyms, sporting facilities and some of Canberra’s iconic attractions.”

A short walk from the Kingston Foreshore, the sheer variety of options at Kingsborough has enticed many buyers – even those who didn’t think apartment living was for them.

“With facilities such as the Parbery Lane Pizza/pub, a yoga studio and even a bike shop, there is a lot of interaction between neighbours that creates a great sense of community,” Mr Crowther said.

Most of the complexes also offer a variety of scenic walks near lakes, mountains and gardens which encourage a healthy lifestyle.

Three men walk along a pathway through a crowded grassed area.

Community events such as art markets in the precinct grounds bring neighbours together. Photo: Crowthers Property.

“There’s a real sense of community in these villages.

“And with a mix of families, retirees, young couples and dogs, there’s plenty of opportunity to get to know your neighbours.”

A range of locations can suit those looking for a pulsing urban lifestyle or people seeking a quieter lifestyle.

The villages outside the CBD are ideal for downsizers wanting a larger apartment and low-maintenance living, but without the need to be right in town. Apartments in these areas are generally more affordable than the inner city homes.

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As large parcels of land have become available in Canberra, forward-thinking developers have jumped onto the lifestyle bandwagon with each precinct offering unique facilities and attractions.

Mr Crowther said apartment villages provided a more efficient model of high-to-medium density housing than stand-alone apartment blocks, while the inclusion of green spaces beautified the city and provided habitats for local wildlife.

He said more Canberra lifestyle villages were in the planning stages and would be announced soon.

Anyone interested in one of the existing complexes or keen to be notified about new precincts should contact the ‘Precinct Professionals’ at Crowthers Property.

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It’s a good idea, BUT….

Please make the apartment builds good quality and well designed. Many of this city’s multi unit dwellings were poorly designed and the gardens, BBQ’s shared facilities etc remain unused and not as attractive as the artists impressions in the original sales brochure.

A colleague said the only people she’s ever seen using the shared garden space at her Braddon apartment complex was the same two smokers.

thatsnotmyname8:15 am 15 Jun 22

I do hope we see a lot more of these types of precinct’s in the CBD.

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