21 July 2023

More than 400 apartments to rise on Northbourne gateway's former public housing land

| Ian Bushnell
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Turner Place development plan

An architectural drawing of the northern face of the proposed Turner Place development. Image: APG.

Former public housing land on Northbourne Avenue in Turner will be transformed into a five-building residential precinct of more than 400 apartments under plans released for public consultation ahead of a development application.

Amalgamated Property Group (APG) is proposing the development which will rise up to nine storeys and fill in one of the major development gaps in the light rail corridor.

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Companies linked to APG and Milin Builders bought the vacant 16,303 sqm site (Block 4, Section 57) known as Turner Place at auction last year in spirited online bidding for $59.3 million.

The project webpage states the five interconnected buildings will step down from nine storeys along the eastern boundary to seven along the west, and be set around a central landscaped courtyard.

They will contain a mix of 418 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments with generous floorplans.

Resident amenities will include a gymnasium, indoor pool, steam and sauna rooms, rooftop gardens, concierge services and multi-purpose spaces.

Turner Place development site

The Turner Place site on Northbourne Avenue. Mature trees will be retained. Photo: Colliers.

The proposed design draws inspiration from some of the world’s most civic cities such as London, Berlin and Washington DC, and the landscape of the Australian bush, according to the project webpage.

“Our proposal for Turner Place is to learn from the simplicity, geometry and materiality of these continental buildings and propose something equivalent, but uniquely Australian.”

Described as stately, the buildings will present as a mix of terracotta tones, Canberra red brick and white concrete.

Apartments will have large balconies and be orientated to maximise light and ventilation.

The project webpage states the floorplans will include spacious and functional kitchens with generous bench space, ducted air-conditioning wherever possible and master bedrooms with minimum dimensions of 3.0m x 3.2m and second bedrooms aiming for a minimum of 3.0m x 3.0m.

It promises spacious ensuites and bathrooms with a preference for double vanities and baths wherever possible, and adequate circulation space and door swings.

Pedestrian paths will pass through the northern and southern façades into the central courtyard and beyond to connect with Haig Park.

There will be deep soil zones for landscaping and existing mature trees will be retained.

Turner Place development plan

Stately presentation: The Northbourne Avenue view of the proposed development. Image: APG.

Parking will be across three basement levels, but a total number of spaces is not given.

The number required will be achieved using the reduced Northbourne Avenue rates of 1/1.3/1.5 parking spaces per 1/2/3 bedroom dwelling, and one visitor space per eight dwellings.

The site is zoned for mixed-use development but Amalgamated is not planning any commercial components.

The purchase came with sustainability conditions including no gas, all-electric connections and electric vehicle charging units, and meeting the Green Star Buildings 5-star rating.

Amalgamated will also have to adhere to specific quality design conditions and consider the site’s position on the gateway route into Canberra and proximity to light rail.

The sale in June 2022 came after the Suburban Land Agency’s failed bid in 2019 to sell the complete batch of former public housing land in Braddon and Turner by public tender.

The SLA decided to break up the land, selling the 15,607 sqm Braddon section in 2020 for $28 million to JWLand.

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A subdivision split the Turner site into two portions – Block 3 (north) and Block 4 (south).

Canberra Town Planning is leading the consultation, which ends at close of business on 4 August.

To learn more, visit the project webpage. Feedback can be submitted to admin@canberratownplanning.com.au

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“second bedrooms aiming for a minimum of 3.0m x 3.0m”
Given that’s the legal minimum, let’s hope they achieve it!

Incidental Tourist10:58 pm 25 Jul 23

Actually street appeal looks good. But the problem is seemingly too small apartments. They should be building minimum 100+ m2 bachelor entry level 2br apartments with majority being 200-300 m2 with 4-5 br and 2-3 car spaces and generous storage. Premium apartments will always find premium buyers.

How many people that live in a 3 bedroom unit own 1.5 cars? Is that a normal car and a smart car? Planners have lost the plot

I’m relieved that this patch of prime real estate will finally be returned to its original purpose – housing people. Densification is a positive thing. If folk don’t like it, then don’t live there. But don’t deny others that right.

oh look another green space that will have a building. does every single square centimetre of open space need development, even in the inner suburbs/civic??

Yes because this is a city that needs infrastructure, amenities and dwellings for people to live in. If you want endless green space go live in Yass or somewhere in the sticks!

@sam there needs to be a mix in the city, endless buildings become quite depressing, particularly when the environs around them are not maintained. just look at Woden town centre and the pebble crete that runs from Scarborough House to Woden square. Ugly, full of weeds and broken steps which clearly the ACT local council doesn’t care to fix.

The mix is Mt Ainslie and Black Mountain. Which other city in Australia can you go from the CBD to bush land in under a minute?

Getting into ‘Dickson Parkland’ areas here. This used to be multi level public housing buildings. It’s now going to be multi level housing buildings. It was green space for, like, 3 years.

Pehaps a pecentage of these flats should be public housing scattered throughout the place.

The old “salt and pepper” approach to puplic housing that the government mentioned a few years ago.

That’s 400 houses that dont need to be built on Canberra’s edges, reducing urban sprawl, and with a major public transport route right on its doorstep.
It’s referred to as TOD … Transport Oriented Development … what all town planners are using.

Kerrrching! More money for the canberra council. Why are our rates so high? Could anyone enlighten me?

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