25 November 2022

More residential development on way for Phillip service area

| Ian Bushnell
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Civium building Phillip

The Civium building at 17 Townshend Street in Phillip. The site is slated for units. Photo: Ian Bushnell.

Phillip’s trades service district is heading for a more diversified future that includes apartments, with another bid lodged to rezone land for residential development.

Civium Property Group has lodged a development application seeking to change the Crown lease of 17 Townshend Street (currently it’s two-storey offices) to allow commercial accommodation and residential use and remove the requirement for general and professional offices and/or professional rooms to be located on the upper floor.

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This is to pave the way for a future development that could be up to five storeys high and include up to 30 units across three levels above about 1200 square metres of commercial accommodation on the ground and first floors, according to the DA prepared by KnightFrank.

While the Phillip Precinct Code allows a maximum of four storeys, a fifth is allowed where the development fronts on to either Townshend Street, Colbee Court or Dundas Court and the fifth storey is set back a minimum of three metres from the front boundary.

An aerial view of the area showing the location of the corner block. Photo: KinghtFrank.

The 1239 sqm corner site (Block 1 Section 30) has secondary frontages on Grenville and Colbee Courts, and includes an on-grade parking area but it is expected any future development will include basement parking.

Townshend Street is also the area’s main artery and bisects the service district.

“The proposed DA will enable future development of accommodation increasing housing supply and diversity of residential, business and employment opportunities which will effectively meet future growing community needs in an established mixed-use area,” KnightFrank says.

This DA follows a proposal lodged last month from Intellectual Property Group to build a hotel nearby on Botany Street and Divine Court, also requiring lease change.

The four-storey building plus attic will contain 56 serviced apartments, with ground-floor commercial tenancies to include a pub with a beer garden and restaurant and an espresso bar.

The project was first proposed as 38 apartments and eight ground-floor commercial tenancies, with IPG director Peter Micalos saying it would be the first residential development in the Phillip service district since the ACT Government finalised the masterplan and would drive the revitalisation of that part of Phillip.

The Lord, a hotel proposal in Divine Court not far from 17 Townshend Street. Photo: Photos: Studio Architecture and Interiors.

But he said the company had decided on a new design direction for the $7.6 million project with a new architect, leading to better unit designs, improved ground-floor commercial space and more rooftop amenities.

Mr Micalos believes the Phillip service area is in need of renewal and has gone as far to say that it could be the Braddon of the South.

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While Woden Valley Community Council President Fiona Carrick has acknowledged that the area needed investment and renewal, she has called for a strategic plan to understand how residential apartment blocks would coexist with the service area.

“This is important because we have already lost Magnet Mart hardware and its garden centre, and most of the recreation precinct in the north of Woden to apartments,” she told Region in October.

Ms Carrick was also concerned about building heights, and proposals adding a fifth storey.

Comments close on the Townshend Avenue DA on 7 December.

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