8 March 2022

Morris Property Group lodges plans for 13-storey city office tower

| Ian Bushnell
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Civic cultural precinct

An artist’s impression of the proposed city tower. Images: Guida Moseley Brown.

Morris Property Group has lodged plans for a landmark 13-storey tower on a key corner opposite the Civic cultural precinct, which will also undergo redevelopment in coming years.

The 833 square metre site (Block 12 and 13, Section 14 City) on the corner of London Circuit and Ainslie Place hosts the former two-storey NAB branch and another two-level building.

MPG also plans to acquire the 55 square metre car park along the eastern boundary of Block 13 within Riverside Lane and an 18.6 square metre portion of land above the Ainslie Place/London Circuit frontage to create a rectangular shape chamfered at the corner.

In a city hungry for A-grade facilities, the $28 million proposal designed by Canberra firm Guida Moseley Brown will deliver 7606 square metres of new office space on levels 3-12 and two ground floor retail tenancies totalling 212 square metres.

The office floors will be single or double tenant arrangements – an open plan office of 717 square metres or two open plan offices of 314 square metres and 349 square metres respectively. They will share a lobby.

Corner entry to the building

The corner entry to the building and lower floors.

Level two will include an office tenancy of 188 square metres, services infrastructure and core facilities.

The development application states the building will be chamfered around the London Circuit/Ainslie Place corner up to level three where it steps out at the same height as the Canberra Museum and Gallery building and the ACT Legislative Assembly.

It states the development will feature a primarily glazed façade with a curtain wall accentuated by vertical louvres at the upper levels.

The main entrance will be on the corner of London Circuit and Ainslie Place. There will also be a glazed pedestrian entry/exit on Riverside Lane at the rear, with a thoroughfare to London Circuit.

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The building will sit on four levels of basement parking providing 76 car spaces, nine less than required. The proponent says the spaces for the retail component can be found within 400 metres of the site. There are 12 motorcycle spaces provided.

End-of-trip facilities on level one will provide space for 78 bicycles, storage lockers and change rooms.

Basement access will be from an entry/exit ramp on Riverside Avenue at the rear off Ainslie Place, where there will also be a loading bay and waste facilities.

The DA’s traffic report says the London Circuit/Ainslie Place intersection is expected to operate acceptably during morning and afternoon peak hours at least until 2031.

It says the building will generate 525 daily trips with 78 during the weekday morning peak and 64 in the afternoon peak.

Proposed building

The proposed building will sit opposite the Canberra Museum and Gallery, which will be part of the cultural precinct redevelopment in coming years.

The development application states the proposal will “deliver a second-generation commercial development that reflects the next stage of Canberra’s development as a confident, resilient city”.

It adds it will respond to its strategic location in the city, the City Renewal Authority’s renewal and Civic Arts and Cultural Precinct Plan, and respect and reinforce the geometry of the Griffin Plan.

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MPG says this proposal will meet local demand for various tenancy sizes and offer office and retail accommodation for public and private sector tenants.

MPG is also developing new office space at One City Hill, next to the law courts. The proposal will need the site to adhere to the City Precinct Code and the National Capital Plan planning guidelines.

Building height can be up to RL617m or about 12 storeys, providing there are no others of the same size on the same section.

The design has been developed with feedback from the National Capital Design Review Panel and in consultation with the City Renewal Authority.

Comment on the DA closes on 22 March.

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Why do they build short squat buildings when other cities build really tall skyscrapers? Something tall, thin, all glass and at least 80 stories would be nice…

Becaise the NCA would never allow it due to the requirements of Canberra being the national capital and the visual impacts on the Parliamentary triangle.

Speaking of the NCA, what are they doing about the plague of rabbits running roughshod over the parliamentary triangle?

thatsnotmyname3:01 pm 08 Mar 22

Nice! This corner is currently so drab.

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