15 February 2022

SLA releases prime Belconnen Town Centre block for auction

| Ian Bushnell
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Belconnen Central land for sale

An aerial view of the Belconnen Central site. Photo: SLA.

A prime block in the heart of the Belconnen Town Centre has been released for development and will go to auction next month, with the Suburban Land Agency calling for interest from “thoughtful” developers.

The 7125 square metre block bounded by Swanston, Chandler and Cohen streets and dubbed Belconnen Central is zoned CZ2 for a variety of uses, including multi-units, hotels, serviced apartments and shops.

The SLA is calling it an “opportunity to secure one of Belconnen’s most central and connected sites and to create a new mixed-use destination for city living”.

It is expected to be keenly sought after and deliver a windfall to government coffers.

The site can accommodate 550 dwellings and must include 87 affordable, 10 public and five community units.

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According to the sales brochure, the SLA wants 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.

“This precinct demands people, place and design-led thinking to deliver a revitalised development in the heart of the city.”

Belconnen Central map

A map of the Belconnen Town Centre showing the site in relation to surrounding destinations. Image: SLA.

Last year the ACT Government also released a community-based design brief for the Town Centre to guide developers that emphasised people-friendly places and desirable urban experiences.

The Belconnen Central site was not included in the Place Design Brief for three areas of the Town Centre identified for development, but it reflects a general community view of what urban renewal should look like there.

The six-month community consultation highlighted an intimate urban experience, better and walkable connections between precincts, open and green spaces, shared spaces and facilities and activated street fronts including cafes, restaurants and bars.

The SLA brochure stresses the site’s premium central position adjacent to the bus interchange and near Belconnen Westfield Shopping Centre and the University of Canberra.

It says the site is part of an evolving neighbourhood within walking distance of Lake Ginninderra and near-future development of the SLA’s Belconnen Lakeshore precinct.

“This will be a highly desirable place to live and work,” the SLA says.

“The release of this site presents a unique opportunity to draw on the location’s potential and create a well-connected precinct that will deliver value to Belconnen for years to come.”

The selling agent is Colliers International.

Its Associate Director, Land Marketing, Residential, Josh Reid, said demand for sites in Canberra’s town centres was extremely strong.

“The scale of this site is not only appealing to Canberra’s larger developers, but also interstate groups who recognise the strong fundamentals of the ACT market,” he said.

The online auction is scheduled for 11 am on Wednesday, 9 March. Bidders must register before 5 pm, Friday, 4 March.

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Finally. Every time i go to belconnen bus interchange i think about how much useless it is as is surrounded by carparks. Hopefully whatever they build properly uses and fronts the interchange

I don’t live in Belconnen, so I’m not familiar with the development site or the carparks near the Bus Interchange. However, having car parks adjacent to bus interchanges isn’t a bad thing. It enables people to drive part of the way, transfer to the bus to avoid City parking and congestion.

The Government actually encourages people to Park ‘n Ride as part of it’s public transport plan.

You are right ken it should be encourage more. Though the best places for park and rides are not in the town centres, you want to keep traffic away from there too rather nearer group centres or major road intersections. There are plenty around just no well advertised and lost in the push to use public transport from door to door, when (as I have advocated here many times) even a reduction in car usage would make a high difference.

One of the things I think was done poorly with light rail was the lack of park and ride at Well Station Drive park. This has only just now been opened. It should have been there from day dot rather than rely just on a temporary town centre park and ride.

I personally use the EPIC park and ride or the one next to the netball courts at Lyneham. Both are convenient from the Barton Highway which is what I use and neither adds any significant time to a city peak hour journey.

Surely people realise they’ll just build bigger and bigger towers so you’ll get 360 degree views of the concrete jungle.

Another tower of mordor to permanently scar the skyline of Canberra, I’d bet.

This isn’t building a city and no developers are actually place making.

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