7 July 2023

Work starts on Woden tower at key corner of Town Centre's westside

| Ian Bushnell
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The new Zapari development in Woden, The Shard.

The fenced-off site of the new Zapari development in Woden, The Shard. Photo: Ian Bushnell.

Demolition work has started on the site of the latest high-rise apartment tower on the western side of Woden Town Centre.

Zapari’s L-shaped 16-storey development dubbed The Shard will add a further 273 units to the Town Centre, as well as nearly 500 square metres of ground-floor retail on the 2570 square metre site bordered by Melrose Drive to the west, Brewer Street to the south, and Corina Street to the east (Blocks 4, 5, and 7 Section 12).

The site is now fenced off, including the small car park near Chemist Warehouse.

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The Shard will also sit opposite Westfield Woden and inject new life into what has become a tired and degraded edge of the Town Centre.

It will join a clutch of high-rise residential towers going up in the area including Keggins’ W2 , Doma’s The Melrose, and Geocon’s massive WOVA development.

About 85 per cent sold already, The Shard has proved to be a popular choice for downsizers seeking Town Centre homes close to shopping, transport and entertainment.

Marketing agent LJ Hooker said it had been one of Canberra’s fastest-selling developments in recent times with a number of records broken for off-the-plan sales of one, two, three, four and five-bedroom apartments, while two penthouse sales doubled previous records.

high-rise residential tower

A view of The Shard from Melrose Drive in Woden. Image: Cox Architecture.

In 2021, a four-bedroom penthouse sold for $2.275 million and a five-bedroom for $2.817 million to a Canberra downsizer and a local family, smashing the previous Woden record of $1.145 million.

A four-bedroom apartment sold for $1.4 million, a three-bedroom for $915,000 and a two-bedroom for $765,000, all to Canberra downsizers.

A Canberra first home owner paid $517,000 for a one-bedroom apartment.

The development has had several iterations since plans were first released in 2020 showing two curved towers.

It was to have a central atrium but this was deemed inappropriate due to wind and noise concerns.

Other changes reduced the bulk and scale of the development and it became a uniform 16-storeys. A mezzanine floor was axed, half the podium parking levels fronting Corinna Street and Brewer Street were replaced with residential units, the podium parking façade treatment fronting Melrose Drive was redesigned to include glass detailing, and a fourth basement level for parking was added.

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Resident amenities include a gym (level 4), Pilates and yoga studio (level 6), plunge pool and sauna (level 8), business lounge (level 10), wine cellar and dining (Level 12), piano and cocktail bar (Level 14), and rooftop garden.

The basement levels will have 450 car parking spaces, including eight accessible spaces.

The development includes 274 storage cages, which could be used by residents and employees to store bicycles and other items. In addition, a 24-bike parking area is proposed along Corinna Street.

Construction is expected to take about two years. The surrounding roads, key feeders into Westfield, will remain open.

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People coming to Canberra need to live somewhere. Urban sprawl is not the answer. If construction was to wait until one is finished before the next starts these highrises wouldn’t be finished for 20 years.

Linda Seaniger7:53 am 08 Jul 23

Woden has construction going on on the east side, the north side and now the west side.
Definitely another town said to avoid, the other is of course Civic.
Why does the ACT government approve so much construction works in one place that severely impedes traffic flow and access to a town Centre?
Just another example of how poorly Canberra is governed.

HiddenDragon7:23 pm 07 Jul 23

“The Shard will also sit opposite Westfield Woden and inject new life into what has become a tired and degraded edge of the Town Centre.”

So the Woden cycle path and related “traffic calming” hasn’t worked its magic to raise the vibrancy and activation quotients of that part of the world?

Inject new life !Woden has become one place to avoid

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