The ACT Government will bank a $20.5 million windfall after selling a prime block in the heart of the Belconnen Town Centre on Wednesday (9 March).
The 7125 square metre block bounded by Swanston, Chandler and Cohen streets, and dubbed Belconnen Central, was the subject of strong competition at the Suburban Land Agency auction, with three of the eight bidders fighting it out at the finish.
Canberra property developer JWLand, the company behind Founders Lane in the city and Campbell 5, emerged with the winning bid.
More than 500 apartments could be developed on the site.
The selling agent was Colliers International. Its associate director, land marketing, residential, Josh Reid, said the strong field and result was reflective of the demand for land in Canberra, particularly in the Town Centres.
He said JWLand would probably develop some sort of mixed-use complex dominated by residential on the site, which is zoned CZ2 for a variety of uses, including multi-units, hotels, serviced apartments and shops.
It is currently a car park, and there is a requirement to retain the current amount of public parking on the site.
JWLand National Head of Development Michael Prendergast said the acquisition of another landmark site strengthened the company’s commitment to Canberra and the evolving transformation of the Belconnen Town Centre.
“Our strength resides in delivering large-scale, world-class mixed-use precincts,” he said.
Mr Prendergast said the acquisition of this site was a fantastic opportunity for JWLand to create a sustainable mixed-use precinct in one of Canberra’s most sought-after town centres.
“Given its proximity to the city, University of Canberra and diversity of employment opportunities, the area has matured and commands significant interest as a desirable place to live,” he said.
“Over the coming months we will begin working with our stakeholders to design a precinct that will complement the characteristics of this area.”
The site can accommodate 550 dwellings and must include 87 affordable, 10 public and five community units.
According to the sales brochure, the SLA wanted a developer to deliver a sustainable project in line with the Belconnen Master Plan.
Any development will need to be all-electric, supporting the ACT’s move away from gas as part of its climate policy, and include electric vehicle charging units for each dwelling.
JWLand has recently completed the final stage of their Founders Lane project in Braddon and buyers will soon be residing in the DAWN and SOL buildings.
The Founders Lane precinct comprises of four mixed residential buildings totalling almost 800 units and is located adjacent to the Canberra Centre.
Construction has now commenced at The Sullivan, the second stage of the Northbourne Village precinct in Lyneham.