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Woden the Manhattan of the south?

johnboy 4 November 2010 35

The Canberra Times reports on plans by the Hindmarsh Group to build 35 storey residential towers in Woden.

There are, of course, plans for electric cars, and Sydney’s Oxford Street too!

Developer Hindmarsh and the Land Development Agency unveiled yesterday a vision for electric cars and tower communities of up to 5000 people in the town centre.

The Hindmarsh-LDA’s Woden Green will dwarf its nearest neighbour Sky Plaza, while on the town centre’s western side car parks and old buildings will be redeveloped into a streetscape resembling Sydney’s Oxford Street.

Best of luck to them.


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35 Responses to Woden the Manhattan of the south?
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Masquara 2:54 pm 06 Oct 12

georgesgenitals said :

A load of fanciful BS. I seriously doubt it will happen.

Apologies for reviving an old post – but you were right. According to the Crimes, it has been canned.

Serenace1 10:47 pm 18 Nov 10

I miss Canberra. I think I ll even move back there. One day.

historyofmodernity 7:38 pm 18 Nov 10

Bit late, but their not built yet. The high density buildings are a good idea for Canberra. But I also think the concerns raised above about the affordability, liveability and sustainability of such apartments are a real concern. The Gov needs to show how they are going to get these results.

While it won’t happen overnight, building high density into the towncentres should allow some tangible benefits. Moving more people into the towncentres should assist in increasing public transport use, open up houses in surrounding suburbs to hopefully halt the increasing landspace that suburbia is using.

I also would like to hear more about how 9 stories is good, but any more is not eco friendly? I still don’t think this question was answered.

Pork Hunt 5:50 pm 05 Nov 10

I build elevators for a living. Bring it on…

georgesgenitals 1:42 pm 05 Nov 10

Holden Caulfield said :

Buzz2600 said :

Skyplaza already looks like decrepit public housing. Now they want to build a bigger one??

They don’t really care what it looks like, or how it will age; socially as well as physically. They care just enough to prepare a marketing spiel and, of course, they care that it sells. Once.

Absolutely.

I doubt ACTPLA and whoever else the developer has gotten to could seriously endorse this. Surely they have learnt from the eyesore that is Sky Plaza, which looked like a throwback to high density government flats of the 60’s even when new.

I actually thought the earlier planning for Woden Green wasn’t too bad – a few commercial buildings of 11 or so stories and apartments in the 3-6 story range, spread down across that whole eastern side of Woden. At the end of the day, people should WANT to live there, not do so simply because it’s the only available property.

I-filed 12:58 pm 05 Nov 10

arescarti42 said :

I-filed said :

High-rise apartments are NEVER eco-friendly. NO ecologically sustainable developments go over 9 stories. Ever.

An explanation would be nice. As far as I’m aware apartment buildings are more land, energy and water efficient than any other sort of housing.

Yes – lower-rise apartment buildings of 7 storeys (which is pretty high for Canberra) are the most efficient according to an environmental planner who is informing the ACT Government (so they know all about it. One wonders where the hell the Greens are on this)

Aubergine 12:25 pm 05 Nov 10

It’s staggering how well that Wikipedia photo of Cabrini Green lines up with the CT artist’s impression of Woden Green http://www.canberratimes.com.au/multimedia/images/full/985248.jpg. Well spotted!
Having said that, I support the densification of housing near town centres. This plan looks promising. I hope they take into account the floodability of the stormwater channel running meters away from the towers and their presumably massive underground/underwater parking.
The “Oxford Street” plan is actually for the west side of the town centre (Woden Green is on the east side). It would replace the surface carparks outside the current (soon to be flattened) Alexander and Albemarle Buidings and the Tradies Club with more stuff (apartments).
Has anyone noticed the other tower plan for Woden, replacing the Post Office building next to Lovett Tower with a 20 storey apartment block? See http://203.9.249.2/e-registers/pubnote/pdf/COMPSTREET-201017864-S144B-East-01.pdf
If Woden’s Oxford Street runs north from here it’ll end right opposite Hush. Perfect!

arescarti42 9:47 am 05 Nov 10

I-filed said :

High-rise apartments are NEVER eco-friendly. NO ecologically sustainable developments go over 9 stories. Ever.

An explanation would be nice. As far as I’m aware apartment buildings are more land, energy and water efficient than any other sort of housing.

GardeningGirl 11:54 pm 04 Nov 10

They can try to sell it as “sustainable” all they want but regardless of the marketing I can’t help seeing more “decrepit public housing” Skyplaza style sardine cans, with the quality issues we’ve been hearing of around Canberra, designed for maximum profitability for the developer. Would be nice to be proven wrong because although it doesn’t appeal to me personally I do believe medium and high density can be done well and suit some people.

clp 11:16 pm 04 Nov 10

I think Woden is crying it for more apartment development – but you need to cluster multistorey buildings and not have them in isolation

I-filed 10:35 pm 04 Nov 10

This is showing up the Canberra 2030 “consultation” – supposedly all about the government pushing for a sustainable city – for the utter cr*p it is. High-rise apartments are NEVER eco-friendly. NO ecologically sustainable developments go over 9 stories. Ever. Ask any sustainability town planner. No government concerned with a sustainable, amenable Canberra is going to partner with a development of this kind.

Instant Mash 7:13 pm 04 Nov 10

I don’t see this happening. (At least not in the moderately-near future.)

gospeedygo 4:04 pm 04 Nov 10

Druggies have to go somewhere I guess…..

arescarti42 3:30 pm 04 Nov 10

Having never been to Sydney’s Oxford street, I did a google images search and the following was the first result.

http://www.smh.com.au/ffximage/2008/01/17/oxford_street_wideweb__470x304,0.jpg

I do like the idea of densification around the city and town centres, but I sure as hell wouldn’t pay $400k for an off the plan apartment given the sort of quality you can expect in this town.

In fact I can’t imagine why anyone would willingly pay that sort of money, but at least people have the option.

Holden Caulfield 2:25 pm 04 Nov 10

Buzz2600 said :

Skyplaza already looks like decrepit public housing. Now they want to build a bigger one??

They don’t really care what it looks like, or how it will age; socially as well as physically. They care just enough to prepare a marketing spiel and, of course, they care that it sells. Once.

Buzz2600 1:25 pm 04 Nov 10

What the …?

Oxford Street is interesting because of the people not because of the architecture. If they were talking about building 2 & 3 story terrace houses with some creative touches, a public plaza with shops at ground level, then I might be able to appreciate it … but a 35 story monolith? What about something more central Parisian style (still high density but with height restrictions and beautiful architecture, public gardens and local shops) ??

Skyplaza already looks like decrepit public housing. Now they want to build a bigger one??

I-filed 12:50 pm 04 Nov 10

What’s the ceiling height? Developers don’t care, and low ceilings = low socio-economic residents

How many of the flats will be public housing? How good will the soundproofing be?

Gubmint is pulling down the old housing developments where the crackheads and dealers used to congretage. At least a handful of those 1500 residents can look forward to iceheads and the mentally ill making a lot of noise at all hours of the night and day, and some nice “home business” that attract dodgy male clients who stay for half an hour.

Why would anyone with enough money to make choices about their lifestyle bother living in a high-rise near an ugly wind-corridor shopping centre?

Looking like a slum already!

NOTE that the publicity has not mentioned top-quality design. That’s because this is developer and not sustainability-driven.

Last of all, look forward, buyers, to a carpark squeeze on several fronts: not enough of them, and too small. All in the name of sustainability – but simply convenient for the developer.

Greenfields is looking better and better!

The cat did it 12:50 pm 04 Nov 10

Sounds like an ambit claim. Government knocks the main tower back to 25 stories and claims kudos for protecting the built environment, while developer still laughs all the way to the bank. And of course these will be generously proportioned apartments that offer a real alternative to single dwellings, not over-priced pigeon holes, won’t they? And the plumbing won’t leak, no sir- the Bermudan-based holding company that has shouldered full responsibility for building defects guarantees it …

Suggestions that it will be like Oxford St shows what happens when developers start drinking their own Kool-Aid. ‘Atmosphere’ like Oxford Street or any other vibrant social scene comes from diversity and complexity- things that developers work hard to avoid, because they increase costs. More likely is that , as Reprobate says, it will be come the Bronx of the South.

Amanda Hugankis 12:48 pm 04 Nov 10

watto23 said :

If the apartments were more affordable than a house it would be a good thing. As it is apartments seem to be aimed at the young and stupid.

I don’t have an issue with the height myself, in fact the height is the best way to keep the green inner spaces that Canberra has, rather than infilling over them.

A one bedroom apartment in Woden is still more affordable than a house with land anywhere else in Canberra.

If the ‘young and stupid’ want to get a foot in the real estate door – should they wait for a boomer to offer them their house for half the market price?

I have this argument regularly with all the olds in my family – they hate apartments, don’t think they should be approved to be built and can’t imagine why people would want to live in them, at the same time saying that young people just have to take what is cheap and on offer, rather than being picky and holding out for their McMansions, and/or freeloading off their parents.

I don’t know where I’m even going with this … its just pushed my ‘lacking in oldie tolerance’ button.

Solidarity 12:29 pm 04 Nov 10

If they were serious they’d have diesel cars, not environmentally unfriendly electric ones.

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