Forrest development site opposite Parliament House sells for $20.1 million

An aerial image highlighting a 1.33-hectare development site in Forrest, which sold for $20.1 million.An aerial image highlighting a 1.33-hectare development site in Forrest, which sold for $20.1 million. Photo: ACT government

A large slice of land opposite Parliament House has sold at auction for $20.1 million.

The 13,300-square-metre site at the corner of State Circle and Canberra Avenue in Forrest was purchased by local company Addval Developments on Tuesday.

The company was among five active bidders vying for block 13 section 13 Forrest.

An opening bid of $8 million was followed by 60 further bids. Auctioneer Richard Keeley announced that the site was on the market at $13 million.

It was a competition between two parties from the $16-million mark and crawled up to $20 million in mostly $100,000 increments.

Mr Keeley said the result was a testament to the strength of the market.

The Land Development Agency sold the property through Knight Frank agents Daniel McGrath and Nic Purdue.

Mr McGrath said the agency had fielded national and international interest from residential and hotel developers. 

He said it was one of the last opportunities to buy on State Circle in the parliamentary precinct.

“It’s one of the last opportunities of its size and one of the last with a Forrest address,” Mr McGrath said.

Mr Purdue said the property received strong pre-market interest since the block was earmarked for release last year as part of the ACT government’s 2016-2017 land release schedule.

Two Northbourne Avenue sites – a 30,000-square-metre site in Dickson and a 25,000-square-metre site in Lyneham – were also sold by the ACT government this financial year.

Addval Developments’ Michelle Dzakula said the Forrest block was an “extremely high-profile site”.

The company was among several groups with their eye on the Forrest site long before it hit the market.

“We were very motivated to acquire it,” she said.

Ms Dzakula said the company had residential development planned for the site.

“We want to produce something that will complement the location and the history of the location, but something that brings a new level of innovation and sustainability,” she said.

A maximum of 168 units are permitted for the site and plans will need to be approved by the National Capital Authority.

LDA chief executive David Dawes said the sale represented a great opportunity for the buyer to deliver a high-quality development next to Parliament House. 

“This is a great result for the territory and this site is now set to become a signature precinct befitting its high-profile location,” Mr Dawes said.