Local shopping centres across Canberra are in the sights of the ACT government with a number of group centre master plans proposing changes to existing suburban shopping centres.
Among the proposals include lifting building heights, establishing new transport links and building residential apartments.
With about 70 per cent of Canberra’s future housing stock to come from urban infill, local shopping centres are being targeted as places for residential development. This means that, in the foreseeable future, who knows, you could be living at your local shops’ site.
The Calwell Group Centre Master Plan was devised in September 2016. It proposes increasing building heights in some areas by up to four storeys, but most of the area is slated to be two storeys.
However, there was a proposed draft variation to the plan in May that could double the building heights on the eastern side of the shops – from two to four storeys, allowing for more residential dwellings. The variation was met with some pushback.
The original master plan did slate the potential for residential opportunities in the centre but whether this will be taken up remains to be seen.
Over the 2020-21 financial year, the ACT government plans to sell a community-zoned site in Calwell with the potential for 30 dwellings.
The redevelopment of the Curtin shops has caused some controversy over the past year, with a local residents’ group raising objections and going so far as to take the matter before the ACT Administrative Tribunal. However, in June, the challenge was dropped.
This has paved the way for a five-storey, mixed-use development with 36 residential units. It has been suggested this particular development could be finished within the next year.
But it’s not the only change that could come to the centre. The Curtin Group Centre Master Plan was released in November 2018, and as part of its five principles it will look at identifying new opportunities for development and redevelopment in around the centre.
Unlike most of the shopping centres in this list, the redevelopment of Giralang shops is well underway.
After sitting dilapidated for more than 10 years, developers Nikias Diamond were given the green light for their 50-apartment development after Planning Minister Mick Gentleman used his discretionary powers and pushed through a “call-in” for the development last year.
The $19 million Audri development came onto the market shortly after the approval. There’s a mix of one, two and three-bedroom apartments, and there will also be six commercial units, including a 1000-square-metre supermarket.
Mawson’s neighbour Phillip has become a hub of development activity in recent times, with a flurry of towers changing the skyscape of the suburb.
Perhaps it’s no surprise then, that the government has Mawson in its sites.
The Mawson Group Centre Master Plan proposes five distinct precincts within the centre, along with improved public transport facilities.
The master plan wants to “encourage day and night activity in the centre”.
Among the changes, is a “marker building” of up to eight storeys that will indicate the arrival to the centre, with residential within that.