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Northbourne flats, ex-visitor centre sites up for auction in August

By Charlotte Harper - 22 July 2016 4

Dickson on Northbourne aerial view from brochure

The territory’s Land Development Agency has appointed Knight Frank the sales agent for three ACT Government-owned blocks set for retail, commercial and residential development on the Dickson side of Northbourne Avenue: the former ACT Visitor Centre site vacated when the facility moved to Regatta Point and the public housing blocks on either side of it.

At 30,000 sq m in total area and with 500m of Northbourne Avenue frontage, the sites will be auctioned as one package, described as Dickson on Northbourne, at 11am on August 31.

Settlement for the site, which is a couple blocks from the Dickson shops, will be staggered over three years. The northern-most of the three blocks, the Dickson flats site, will settle in 2017, while the most southern, the Karuah site, is scheduled for 2018 to allow for the continued relocation of current tenants. The Visitor Centre site will settle in 2019 after construction of light rail is complete.

The sites are being sold (together with other ageing government infrastructure) as part of the Federal Government’s Asset Recycling Initiative, which means the ACT Government will receive $67 million from the Federal Government towards stage one of Canberra’s light rail network should it go ahead.

Land Development Agency CEO David Dawes said the Dickson on Northbourne development would feature up to 697 new homes.

“New developments are capitalising on the area’s proximity to light rail to create a mixed residential, commercial and retail avenue that will be a destination in its own right for Canberrans and visitors,” he said.

“This large site provides an exceptional opportunity for a mixed-use development that will improve the amenity and vitality of the area for visitors, residents, the local community and all Canberrans.”

The purchasers will be required to incorporate aspects of several heritage listed former public housing buildings on the site following a vocal community campaign that set out to protect the buildings.

For further information visit www.lda.act.gov.au.

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4 Responses to
Northbourne flats, ex-visitor centre sites up for auction in August
creative_canberran 5:43 pm 23 Jul 16

aussie2 said :

Seems odd to me to close/move the ACT Visitor Centre from the main road that tourists use to access Canberra. If I didn’t know better I would say this is just a massive money grab by ACT Govt so they can sell some prime land to developers for big dollars…

Why is it odd? It’s only on the route for some cars from Sydney, people do plenty of research and bookings before arriving thanks to the internet, and the NCE is a perfect intro to the city so makes sense to co-locate with visitor info. Bus and snow traffic and visitors from west, south and east bypass current site anyway. Northbourne east used to be a hotel and tourism strip, but those days are fading so it doesn’t fit into the precinct now.

New arrangement: Visitors get in to the middle of town, can get an intro and visitor information, and can grab a bite on site or walk to the triangle or civic easily. Can’t do all that the the current location which has no view, no cafe, and no great links anywhere else.

switch 10:27 am 23 Jul 16

It’s not just little towns like ours that do this sort of thing. Sydney is flagging tearing down the Powerhouse Museum and moving it out to Parramatta so the site can be released for some crazy new development.

rommeldog56 8:05 am 23 Jul 16

aussie2 said :

Seems odd to me to close/move the ACT Visitor Centre from the main road that tourists use to access Canberra. If I didn’t know better I would say this is just a massive money grab by ACT Govt so they can sell some prime land to developers for big dollars…

The removal of the Visitor Information Centre away from the main arterial road bringing tourists/visitors arriving by car to down by the Lake, through the CBD, is “odd”. Not if u are a developer or the cash strapped ACT Labor/Greens Govt, it isn’t.

Makes perfect sense in this town now where “growing up” and poor planning is the name of the game.

I can not remember how the ACT Labor/Greens Gov’t spun the justification for this, but to me, its illogical.

Felix the Cat 5:57 pm 22 Jul 16

Seems odd to me to close/move the ACT Visitor Centre from the main road that tourists use to access Canberra. If I didn’t know better I would say this is just a massive money grab by ACT Govt so they can sell some prime land to developers for big dollars…

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