4 November 2022

Plans lodged for first stage of 700-unit rental precinct in Denman Prospect

| Ian Bushnell
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The Borough, Denman Prospect

An artist’s impression of the first stage of The Borough development in Denman Prospect. Photos: DKO Architecture.

High-density build-to-rent projects – touted as part of the solution to the housing crisis – are coming to Canberra’s suburbs if a proposed new precinct in Denman Prospect is anything to go by.

The Borough will eventually provide 700 secure and economical rentals across nine buildings designed by four different architects, including an affordable component, with on-site management, community facilities and open space.

A development application has been lodged for the $45 million first stage of two six-storey buildings and 162 apartments, with the next stage to deliver three more buildings and 200-plus apartments, followed by four buildings in the third and final stage.

The first two buildings will front Holborow Avenue and two currently unnamed roads in the Denman North area on a 10,530 sqm site.

The developer of Denman Prospect, Canberra Airport’s Capital Estate Developments, has teamed up with Jega, which developed Kingsborough in Kingston Foreshore.

The Borough, Denman Prospect

An internal view including atrium.

Capital Estate Developments Nick McDonald Crowley said The Borough took inspiration from Kingsborough, particularly the warehouse-style apartments and its amenity.

“I thought that would work nicely trying to address some of those affordability challenges,” Mr McDonald Crowley said.

Capital Estates plan to manage the leasing, maintenance and property management of the apartments and communal areas.

Mr McDonald Crowley said this would ensure consistency and quality of service for tenants but also help drive efficiencies to keep costs down and provide affordable rentals.

He said dwellings would range from one to three-bedroom apartments, and there would be a big focus on communal and common areas to achieve extra amenity.

There would be a lot of large one-bedroom units up to 80 square metres in floor space with winter gardens and the flexibility for a second room or study.

Mr McDonald Crowley said the target market would be Canberra’s essential workers, such as nurses and young teachers who may not be able to buy their own place initially.

The Borough, Denman Prospect

The Borough will offer a range of dwelling sizes.

The development will include rooftop solar panels, electric vehicle charging stations, possibly drone landing zones, secure parcel collection areas, grey water management, sustainable building materials and community gardens, including exclusive residents-only communal rooftop areas.

Also planned are pop-up shops and cafes for tenants.

There will be a combination of basement and surface parking, with 202 spaces underground and 17 above ground, bicycle spaces and ride-share pick-up and drop-off locations.

Mr McDonald Cowley said Capital Estates was responding to the shift in the market over the past few years that required developers to be innovative about providing a viable product that people could actually afford to live in and have some sense of ownership about where they lived.

The plans come as the ACT Government pushes to attract 5000 extra rentals to the Canberra market through its Build-to-Rent prospectus to industry and a range of incentives that could include lease variations and land tax concessions.

The Borough, Denman Prospect

The development will come with a range of amenities and be close to services.

Mr McDonald Crowley said the company was drafting a submission to the government on achieving mutually acceptable outcomes.

“The government has got to listen to industry and try to work out a way that works for them and the landlords,” he said.

Mr McDonald Crowley said the company was initially unsure about high-density development in a greenfield area like Denman Prospect, but the move had been vindicated.

“If you provide the amenity – the shops, bus services, schools – our experience to date has been the take up has been stronger than anticipated,” he said.

“I’m pretty confident that the rental market will be equally as strong as the owner-occupied development in a greenfield locality.”

He said he supported attractions such as Stromlo park that appealed to a particular demographic.

Comment on the DA closes on 16 November.

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Linda Seaniger2:46 pm 06 Nov 22

Also to overcome the problem of 700 apartments and 200 car spaces and no viable bus services operating from this area to other work areas as Tuggeranong, Belconnen or Kingston excepted by Civic or Woden. I think we should forget the slow, very expensive obsolete tram and go for electric buses temporarily. Also offer direct services to all work areas from this area and given that we have a weir that is out of action often, the buses should be free to encourage patronage and to win people over to public transport without having to spend two hours commuting each morning and each afternoon make it affordable speedy and direct. Traffic congestion when the Weir is not open is ridiculous and it makes it entering the tug Parkway extremely unsafe for northbound travellers. Instead of a slow tram may I suggest that we have a rapid Metro train that would leave the city head towards the Glenloch interchange and follow follow the Tuggeranong Parkway and have branches to Belconnen, Tuggeranong and through to Kingston much more speedy and better value for our dollar.
There’s heaps of open space available for the murky green labour government to sell off to to developers.

Linda Seaniger2:34 pm 06 Nov 22

To be fair the snow family know how to manage property for a profit. So they will manage it like a commercial enterprise so hopefully there will be more checks and balances on how tenets maintain the property and compliance.

200 car spaces and 700 units . The majority of people like having there own car to go where they want when they want. Not everyone wants to rely on expensive and extremely limited public transportation. Watch the near by streets choke up with parked cars. Need to be at least 1 car spot per unit

William Newby8:28 pm 05 Nov 22

Give it >ten years and it will probably be where all our newly created herion junkies will live.
God bless the ACT and our political elites.

In other words, a slum

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