Morris Property Group to transform City car park into 1000 apartments

Ian Bushnell 21 June 2018 33
An artist's impression of the planned development on Section 100 in the City. Image: Supplied.

An artist’s impression of the planned development on Section 100 in the City. Image: Supplied.

The southern gateway to the City will be given a major facelift following the sale of Section 100 to ACT property development firm Morris Property Group, which plans a mixed-use development on the site, including more than 1,000 apartments.

A 2.6 hectare site sitting between London Circuit and Vernon Circle, Section 100 (formerly Section 63) is adjacent to the New Acton cultural precinct, Australian National University, City Hill and the ACT courts precinct and is at present used as a car park.

Morris Property Group (MPG) finalised the purchase of Section 100 from City West Property Holdings this week for $85 million and plans to develop the site in four stages that will include car parking, retail and apartments.

State Chief Executive of Colliers International, Paul Powderly said the site was the first part of the city centre people hit when coming in from the south on Commonwealth Avenue.

“It is smack in the middle of a major employment hub which includes many Commonwealth Government departments, and is, of course, a short walk to the city’s shops and restaurants,” he said.

Initially sold by the ACT Government in 2007 to Leighton Properties and Mirvac for $92 million, the site had stood vacant except for the car park despite its significant potential and outstanding location.

Morris Property Group was now gearing up to breathe new life into this prominent part of our city, Mr Powderly said.

“Each stage will be unique but contribute to a cohesive whole, which will be a precinct people will be excited to live in, work in or visit,” Mr Powderly said.

“Morris Property Group has been operating in Canberra for 40 years and is still a family run business. MPG’s experience and sense of family will be at the heart of this development which will be designed for multi-generational living as people choose to start out their lives in a home close to their work or study; families take advantage of the lifestyle opportunities Section 100 will present; and for older Canberrans seeking a quality, easy care home from which they can readily access all they need day-to-day while being part of the community and social life of the precinct.”

Work on Stage 1 will begin shortly.

“Fencing will be going up in coming weeks, at which point more details of the development will be unveiled. Soon people will have a chance to register their interest in making this precinct their home or next investment,” Mr Powderly said.

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33 Responses to Morris Property Group to transform City car park into 1000 apartments
Risible2 Risible2 9:32 am 30 Jun 18

Why are seventeen storeys being allowed on the edge of City Hill? What effect will it have on the cross-lake views? The ACT Government seems to have lost the plot altogether.

Capital Retro Capital Retro 8:36 am 23 Jun 18

Why is there a perception that everyone in Canberra “has to go (drive) into the city”?

I find all the goods and services I need in Tuggeranong or Woden and I only go to the city to see movies or the occasional live show and these are at night when parking is a breeze.

And it’s a “two-way street” because people who choose to live in apartments in the city because they work there will want to “escape” the precinct occasionally and they will need a car to do that.

Maya123 Maya123 11:04 pm 22 Jun 18

No problem with parking for me. I catch the bus.

Max Welch Max Welch 8:54 pm 22 Jun 18

WTF - it’s a pain trying to find a park in the city at the moment. Do we really need more appartments?!

    Mark Dando Mark Dando 7:55 am 23 Jun 18

    The latest ABS stats released on Thursday showed the ACT had the second highest population growth rate of states and territories, with another 8800 people in 2017. Where do you think they should live? Not everyone wants to live in an apartment but plenty are happy to. Imagine how much worse congestion and parking would be if they all live in the outer suburbs and drove into the city.

    Max Welch Max Welch 9:01 am 23 Jun 18

    Canberra is growing phenomenally I agree, everyone needs somewhere to live, but equally people working need somewhere to park. Especially when coming into the city for a meeting. When I travel in from Fyshwick it can take 20 mins to find a park sometimes. I’m not the only one and situations like that have a productivity cost to the economy. You can’t fix one issue (housing) and not expect it to have a knock on effect elsewhere (parking and productivity etc). I feel that there are issues with town planning across Canberra. I live in Gungahlin and the lack of foresight in development has meant that there have been infrastructure issues for years that are still some way from being fixed.

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 11:06 am 23 Jun 18

    Max Welch wrote, "When I travel in from Fyshwick it can take 20 mins to find a park sometimes".

    I checked buses from Fyshwick, and depending which one, they vary in travel times between 27 and 47 minutes. Goggle maps has driving travel times to Civic as 13 minutes, so 13 plus 20 is 23 minutes. Maybe the quicker bus route could be considered? But this would depend where in Fyshwick you are. If parking in Civic is the problem, could your work place be flexible enough to maybe have the meeting elsewhere, say at your place, and at the end of the day, so no-one has to return to Civic. I don't know your individual situation, but sometimes problems are exacerbated by inflexibility.

    Mark Dando Mark Dando 11:34 am 23 Jun 18

    Max Welch I take your point that people coming into the city sometimes need to drive and park, but would be surprised if the developments that are being built on the carparks won't have adequate short-stay parking. I don't have any objection to all day parking being replaced by short-stay parking, as I don't think it's reasonable for city workers in general to expect cheap all day parking. Our city is growing up and no amount of planning will make that feasible - not in a city that I'd like to live in anyway. Planning allows you to make the best use of resources but it doesn't make resources infinite. Land used for surface parking can't be used for other things - I prefer the other things.

    Max Welch Max Welch 12:05 pm 23 Jun 18

    You can’t make 100% of people happy with any developments. Rough with the smooth I suppose.

Jennifer Davis Jennifer Davis 8:02 pm 22 Jun 18

Sharon Turner looks like car parking is about to get much worse 😒

Belconandonandon Belconandonandon 9:49 am 22 Jun 18

I’m glad to see that massive car park space around Vernon circle slowly getting chipped away at. I find it weird that so many people complain about apartment buildings being “eyesores”, but they have no issue with a massive open-air car park that divides Civic. A neatly designed apartment building is much better looking than sprawling asphalt. Plus it’ll inject a bit more much-needed activity into Civic.

    Skyring Skyring 4:33 pm 22 Jun 18

    “Much-needed activity”????

    Geez. Wake up to the real world. You go out at three on a Sunday morning and tell me it’s the dead centre of the city.

Heavs Heavs 9:14 am 22 Jun 18

“Won’t somebody think of the parking”

Seriously, do some reading. Condition of sale was that the existing carparks must be replaced by the developer – and they’ve stated it is the first thing they will be doing.

    Skyring Skyring 4:31 pm 22 Jun 18

    Yeah, sure. provide as many car parks as the ones that vanished – and this doesn’t happen overnight, so that’s a bunch of carparking that the regular users are denied for a year or two – and the put a thousand apartments on top. Those people have cars too, and often a couple in an apartment will have a car each. The result is a net loss of carparking.

    And let me make a bold prediction here. The generous car parks will be replaced by mingy little slots, with narrow access lanes threaded through a forest of pillars, carefully planned out by accountants to the last mean millimetre.

Skyring Skyring 9:01 am 22 Jun 18

Another big carpark disappears, to be replaced by apartments full of people with their own cars.

There’s something in the local government that hates drivers. And open space.

Elsa Gaskell Elsa Gaskell 12:44 am 22 Jun 18

There's already no parking in City West as it is.

    Douglas Taylor Douglas Taylor 2:01 pm 22 Jun 18

    It will be privately owned pay parking underneath

gooterz gooterz 7:11 pm 21 Jun 18

Are they extending Edinburgh Avenue or are they trashing the Griffin plan and making that area a shambles?

    Belconandonandon Belconandonandon 9:24 am 22 Jun 18

    According to the Canberra Times “[as] part of the agreement, Morris Property Group must extend Edinburgh Avenue to Vernon Circle, the same way Constitutional Avenue meets with Vernon Circle on the opposite side.”

Drew Reis Drew Reis 6:56 pm 21 Jun 18

We want views!! This region is gorgeous and should be enjoyed as far as the eye can see! It’s a rort to charge so much for apartments with no views in this city. Bring on tall SLIM towers that are elegant and spectacular.

#HighSociety #melbournestylelaneways #palms #lakeside #westbasinforeshore #canberra

Hoppingmad Hoppingmad 5:55 pm 21 Jun 18

I used to park here when I worked in the city. Knowing how many cars it can accommodate and how it gets very full very early in the day, I cannot imagine what current users will do for parking.

It’s a fine idea to want to encourage us all to use public transport, but when public transport does not serve the people well enough it’s not a fine idea at all.

JC JC 5:24 pm 21 Jun 18

Steve this carpark was sold off ages ago, it is the infamous City Wilson carpark.

What has happened here is one private company has sold to another.

Personally I am all for buildings instead of single story open carprarks like this one, provided sufficient car parking is provided at a price point that allows people the choice to park if their life circumstances insist on it (which at present is me) but at a price that makes people look towards alternatives.

    chewy14 chewy14 9:43 pm 21 Jun 18

    Of all the redevelopments, this should be the least controversial.

    It’s a single storey, flat bitumen carpark over a massive area of prime inner city land. To say it is underutilised is being generous.

JC JC 5:21 pm 21 Jun 18

Lynne hear what you are saying, but two points. Firstly the location isn’t opposite the academy of science. That is two blocks away and has buildings in between.

Secondly it is currently a carpark how do you repurpose a carpark to be sympathetic to older structures?

petunia petal petunia petal 5:15 pm 21 Jun 18

Does anyone ever stop and question why we need this unsustainable growth? why does our city need to have accelerated population gains… is it just to fill these shoe-boxes and provide revenue to our cash strapped gov? where are all these people going to have babies? the hospitals and health services are barely coping. Waiting times for specialist appointments are ridiculous. We need to halt this growth, my parents moved here in the 80s and loved it – my mum couldn’t believe how comfortable hospital was and recalls staying for a week after having a baby and having the nurses insist she stays the whole week to ensure she was healthy and well. Aren’t new mums booted out after 24 hrs now? Progress ?
Driving around and its undeniable that the roads feel more congested each year, particularly over the last. Having lived in Sydney I hate the thought of the city becoming more like it… Sydney CBD is soul-less, cramped and just bustling with humans, unfriendly and generally avoided by anyone who isn’t a tourist. We need to vote for politicians that aren’t going to ruin things further.

    Queanbeyanite Queanbeyanite 6:23 pm 28 Jun 18

    What’s wrong with more people? Gordon Silverman’s definition of a human being as ”the lowest cost, 150-pound, nonlinear, all-purpose computer system that can be mass produced by unskilled labor”

Steven Harris Steven Harris 2:32 pm 21 Jun 18

Carparks are considered to be evil and must be destroyed, or at least sold to private enterprise for paid parking structures so motorists can be ripped off further.

Lynne Audsley Lynne Audsley 2:28 pm 21 Jun 18

I wish Canberra could emulate older cities of the world, where old structures are repurposed rather than destroyed. Maybe this particular spot isnt a good example, but the fact that it is opposite the Australian Academy of Science buildings should mean more consideration of the look of what goes there. Also, does Canberra city really need more apartments? Its not a case of ‘if you build it, they will come’!

Neil Lade Neil Lade 2:20 pm 21 Jun 18

No real problem with residential development in Civic as long as there is a rational approach. But this looks like they’re cramming too many places into a rubbish design. Profit over substance. Architecture with no style or individuality. Disappointing.

Jim Chambo Jim Chambo 1:30 pm 21 Jun 18

More apartments? Canberra!!!!

    Kelvin Isaiah Rashad Kelvin Isaiah Rashad 4:07 pm 21 Jun 18

    Thats why houses are worths more than apartments

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