30 May 2024

Mixed-use site the last land to be released in Lawson

| Ian Bushnell
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The two Lawson blocks for sale. A developer will be guided by the Place Design Brief developed with the community. Photo: SLA.

The last land parcel in the developing Belconnen suburb of Lawson has been released for sale by tender.

Lawson, Block a and b, Section AD, is the only mixed-use site in the suburb and features multi-unit residential and commercial space with the opportunity for a small supermarket and other local retail and hospitality offerings.

“This is an opportunity to deliver high-quality experiences that integrate living, working, dining, shopping and recreation in a well-connected suburb,” the Suburban Land Agency says.

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Last December, the ACT Government reaped more than $26 million from the sale of four blocks of land in the Lawson Stage 2B estate to Keggins Group companies.

The almost 20,000 square metre site is surrounded by Baldwin Drive, Belconnen Way, Lake Ginninderra and the old naval base. It is close to the Belconnen Town Centre and the University of Canberra.

The development allows for a maximum of 138 new homes, including a requirement for 16 affordable and five community dwellings.

It can contain 1500 sqm of commercial space at ground level, 700 sqm of which can be used for a supermarket.

The Suburban Land Agency says the successful developer will need to show an integrated design across both blocks, guided by the Lawson Mixed‑Use Place Design Brief that has been developed with the community.

Buildings must have a minimum height of three storeys and a maximum height of four, and the commercial components must address the northern and northwestern frontages.

Any development must also meet a number of sustainability requirements.

It must be all-electric and gas-free, and any green infrastructure such as green roofs, walls, facades and/or planters must be equivalent to at least 30 per cent of the building footprint.

The buildings must achieve an average energy efficiency rating of at least 7.5 stars across multiple dwellings, and a minimum of 6.5 stars for each dwelling.

A rooftop solar array must cover at least 75 per cent of the space, or if the roof is intended as communal space or as a green roof, then a PV system should be installed on a shade-providing structure.

Car parks and garages must also provide electric vehicle chargers.

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In Lawson Stage 2, the government is planning amenities along the lake foreshore, such as a public playground and park, a multi-sport court, barbecue facilities and outdoor seating.

Plans for the suburb include extensive landscaping with more than 10 km of walking and active travel paths, as well as bike trails, exercise stations and areas for recreation and relaxation.

The rejuvenation of College Creek and improved access to the lake via a boardwalk and jetty will support boating and other recreation.

Tenderers will need to submit a comprehensive Development Design Strategy and are encouraged to look at the development of the land “comprehensively, innovatively and with inspired vision”.

The SLA’s appointed selling agent is CBRE and the tender closes on 22 August.

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