19 August 2022

Take a look at what's coming as shop upgrades roll out

| Ian Bushnell
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An artist's impression of the Kippax shops

An artist’s impression of the proposed changes at the Kippax shops. Image: ACT Government.

After starting work on upgrades at Campbell and Duffy shops, the ACT Government is embarking on the next phase of its $65 million suburban development program at Kippax and Charnwood shops.

It also wants to hear from West Belconnen residents and visitors about what would make their local shops better.

A preliminary design for upgrades at the Kippax Group Centre has been released for comment as well as improvements to public spaces at the Charnwood Group Centre, including new landscaping and better paving to make the area safer.

Minister for Transport and City Services Chris Steel said the design at Kippax focused on Hardwick Crescent between Luke Street and the service station because there was broader redevelopment planned by the private owner of Kippax Fair that was still progressing through the planning system.

The preliminary design for the Charnwood shops.

The preliminary design for the Charnwood shops. Image: ACT Government.

He said it was based on previous consultation in line with the Group Centre Master Plan.

“We found people wanted better pedestrian connections from Hardwick Crescent through to Kippax Fair and across the car parks, and we’re delivering that into the designs,” Mr Steel said.

“This local street has a number of takeaways and cafes and we want to really make it a much more vibrant street for people to visit.”

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Work will include landscaping, new trees and garden beds, and widening the verge of Hardwick Crescent to provide more room for outdoor dining to entice people and improve the space for businesses.

Mr Steel said new paving would address safety issues at Charnwood by removing trip hazards.

He said some trees would also have to go but would be replaced with a different species which did not produce roots that lifted the pavement.

The Campbell and Duffy upgrades will be complete by the end of this year. Work is expected to start next year at Kippax and Charnwood, followed by consultation on the 15 other local shops to be upgraded by the government before the end of the term.

Transport and City Services Minister Chris Steel and Barney de Andrade – Hello Café owner

Transport and City Services Minister Chris Steel and Hello Cafe owner Barney de Andrade, who has been at Campbell shops for 16 years. Photo: TCCS.

Parking is a big issue at Campbell as it becomes busier with new developments including Campbell 5.

Mr Steel said the area at the back of the shops would become a formal carpark to allow for more spaces.

The canopy cover would also be increased with new tree plantings. Combined with landscaping, the space would be more attractive and cooler in the warmer months.

The area would also be repaved to provide better access to businesses.

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Hello Cafe owner Barney de Andrade said parking was the key issue as the demographics of Campbell continued to change and the area became busier, especially with more families living in the suburb and shopping locally.

He would like to see the shops rival Manuka and Kingston.

“In the past, you’d only come to Campbell if you really had to, if there was a particular doctor you had to see,” he said.

“But now people are coming just for a coffee or for entertainment. The nightlife has changed. It’s quite vibrant here at night. So yeah, things are happening.”

Mr Steel said final designs for the Tuggeranong Foreshore upgrades, the new Casey community recreation park and a range of playground upgrades in four suburbs would be released soon, before construction started in the new year.

More suburban infrastructure projects including new dog parks for the north and south of Canberra would also be released for community input before the end of the year.

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Vicky Diamond11:15 pm 26 Aug 22

I hope that when light rail is extended to Kippax, that it will also connect to Charnwood Shops.

The Kaleen shops upgrade barely looks any different, just more concrete when they had a great opportunity to prep the ground and plant some great ornamental street trees that would have changed the feel totally by creating shady cool areas for hot sunny days and sunlight for winter days. No foresight, no lived experience of what these type of shops need.

They did at least put in a toilet after the first design iteration didn’t have one.

William Harris1:14 pm 23 Aug 22

Hmmm, what would make my local shops better? How about actually having a local shops?

Giralang wants its shops back!

I heartily agree! The 7-11 is great for getting a hot choc, but I need to my shopping in Kaleen.
I would like to be able to walk to my local shop. Call me weird.

And while we are at it, lets also discuss other infrastructure… having around 500 kids in the cold/rain/sleet at zone athletics at Phillip this morning (before it was called off after an hour) was really dreadful. No parking, no under cover stands, it was truly ridiculous.

Agree on Mawson Southlands being in dire need of an update.

What happened to the Kambah village upgrade and Woolworths extension Mr Steel promoted last decade???? They did a quick fix to the eastern side of the village and then forgot about doing the rest they promised.

Ministers should only be allowed to pose with a shovel after the work has been delivered.

Well they will have to do a bloody sight better than the Kaleen Shops upgrade which has taken many months with very little to show for it – the local shopkeepers would have taken a gigantic financial hit with not a lot to show for it!

Out with the old concrete and in with the new. New street light(s), 3 saplings, and ALL the concrete Kaleen could ever want! Oh and they whacked a new shade over a 20 year+ old rusty sad kids playground. Did I mention we got new concrete?

Mawson and Pearce are both in DIRE need of improvement. There is so much opportunity at both for outdoor dining, but it is so ugly and uninviting that it doesn’t happen (and at Mawson, who would want to sit right in front of a road, sandwiched between two petrol stations to dine out?).

Peter Graves8:40 am 22 Aug 22

Agree with Barney de Andrade at the Campbell shops. The last upgrade was a private one decades ago, by the Farrah brothers – quite a transformation. Sitting outside Hello Cafe in the warmer weather is magical – with excellent coffee and snacks too.

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