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Retirement reimagined inspires a winner as Property Council celebrates

John Thistleton 13 May 2019

The Central, the Rider Levett Bucknall ACT Development of the Year award. Photo: Supplied.

A development that reimagines retirement living has won the territory’s top property award at the Property Council of Australia’s ACT gala ball and awards night.

The Central, designed by AMC Architecture and owned by Goodwin Aged Care Services, was presented with the Rider Levett Bucknall ACT Development of the Year award.

A mixed-use development in Crace, Gungahlin, The Central sits on a compact 1.2-hectare site. The development features apartment and townhouse living, as well as a central clubhouse and ground level commercial tenancies that support residents and the wider community.

“As Canberra’s population grows and ages, it is essential that our retirement living sector is enabled to provide a diverse range of housing choices for Canberrans looking to ‘rightsize’ in locations that are connected and underpinned by place making principles,” Property Council’s ACT Executive Director Adina Cirson says.

“Goodwin took a risk to develop The Central outside of an established area, and in doing so has shown how retirement living can be the catalyst for an entire community,” Ms Cirson says.

“Co-located within the shopping precinct, Goodwin and AMC have designed a model which offers privacy and independence – residents each have their own street address – within a supportive community with services close to hand to meet their changing needs.”

The Central is now vying for the Aurex Group Award for Best Retirement Living Development at the national awards in Sydney on Friday, May 17.

The ACT Development of the Year award is part of the national 2019 Property Council of Australia/Rider Levett Bucknall Innovation and Excellence Awards program. RLB has partnered with the Property Council to present the awards program since its inception in 1982.

Several other awards were also presented. Pieter Van der Walt from Canberra Town Planning won the coveted Allan Wylucki ACT Property Professional of the Year Award. This award is sponsored by local property recruitment specialist Michael Page.

“Pieter’s astute professionalism and ability to solve complex and technical planning issues makes him the ‘go-to’ person for so many in our industry. He makes a significant contribution to the Property Council’s advocacy work, which extends his impact and value far beyond what he is paid to do,” Ms Cirson says.

Nichelle Jackson from Canberra Town Planning and Chris Farrington from Doma Group were joint winners of the ISPT ACT Young Property Professional of the Year Award.

“The judges selected both Nichelle and Chris because they couldn’t be separated for their contributions and achievements in key roles within our industry,” Ms Cirson says.

The ACT Award for Outstanding Property Marketing, sponsored by Canberra Town Planning, was presented to Doma Group for A & A (Alexander & Albemarle building redevelopment), a unique residential conversion of the 1968 commercial office buildings formerly occupied by the federal government in the heart of the Woden Town Centre.

The GHD 2019 Business of the Year went to Geocon, amid stiff competition. The judges awarded Geocon for its contribution to the Canberra economy over the last five years. The exclusive ACT developer has major projects underway in every town centre and a 70 per cent share of the local apartment market.

“Geocon continues to push the boundaries in many parts of our industry, evidenced in the fact it achieved Australia’s first Green Star rating for a hotel,” Ms Cirson says.

Arabella Rohde won the ACT Executive Directors Award for her outstanding advocacy work on behalf of the sector as Vice- President of the Property Council (ACT Division) and in her role as Chair of the Planning and Residential Committee.

“Arabella’s technical knowledge, teamed with her passion and contribution to building a better Canberra, has benefited our members over many years, and underscores why she is so highly regarded in the ACT property sector,” Ms Cirson says.

“Our congratulations go to all the winners who are helping to shape the future of the nation’s capital and build a liveable, vibrant city that makes us all proud,” says RLB Director, Fiona Doherty.


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