Morris Property Group’s $380 million commercial office project One City Hill, next to the ACT Law Courts, has been given the green light by the National Capital Authority (NCA).
One City Hill will form the first stage of a much larger Canberra City precinct, and is the first building in Morris Property Group’s development of the wider Section 100 site fronting the City Hill parkland.
It was originally proposed as a residential project, but was revised as a commercial office and retail development.
The NCA said in its consultation report that it had requested changes, mainly regarding the design of the public realm and landscape, as well as significant modifications to the northern elevation to reduce potential overlooking to the courts precinct.
It said that on 22 November, 2021, Morris Property Group provided revised plans, which were found to be consistent with the provisions of the National Capital Plan, and had addressed community concerns.
The NCA received seven submissions, and key issues included the land use mix, parking and traffic, environmental and heritage impacts, building height and overshadowing, and a lack of open space and sustainability.
The new ‘A-grade’ commercial office complex, designed by local architects Guida Moseley Brown, will rise six levels at Vernon Circle, accommodating 34,000 square metres of premium office space across two buildings.
A three-level public car park is already under construction on the site, with works set to immediately commence on the office building above.
The ground floor includes a retail offering of more than 800 square metres along the new extension of Knowles Place, and is set to be home to a range of new cafes and retail outlets.
The innovative design of the building has been crafted to include features that will minimise disruption in current and future pandemics, and is targeting 5 Star Green Star and 5 Star NABERS Energy ratings through rooftop solar panels, water-saving tapware, and a highly efficient glazing system.
An expansive ground floor entry foyer of more than 1,200 square metres has been designed to provide ‘room to move’ with multiple entry points and three lift cores, guaranteeing seamless connectivity to the building’s workspaces.
The project will employ more than 300 people, and is set to significantly boost the ACT construction sector and the broader local economy in recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The public car park is set to open in early 2022, and will provide much-needed parking space to this part of the city, while the office building will be completed in the second half of 2023.
Morris Property Group director Barry Morris said One City Hill represents striking architecture fused with office accommodation standards that reflect the needs of a contemporary workforce.
“The building has been designed with the future workforce in mind, focusing on sustainability, COVID-19 safe building design, and providing spaces to facilitate work-life balance,” he said.
“It will also bring this edge of the city to life with a huge injection of daily commuting workers. And that’s just the first stage in the development of a much bigger precinct.”
The project will meet high demand for quality office space in the Canberra CBD.