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Kingston Foreshore site sells for $21.65 million at auction

A map of Block 2, Section 67, or Site 14, at the Kingston Foreshore's Peninsular precinct.A map of Block 2, Section 67, or Site 14, at the Kingston Foreshore's Peninsular precinct. Photo: Supplied

What has been described as the best slice of land at the Kingston Foreshore has sold for more than $20 million under the hammer: the most expensive sale of land in the lakeside region.

Canberra developer Keggins Homes secured Site 14, the 3697-square-metre waterfront block at the Foreshore’s Peninsula precinct, for $21.65 million at auction on Wednesday.

The auction attracted 13 registered bidders and an opening bid of $5 million, which quickly crept above $10 million. 

A tight bidding war erupted from the $17-million-mark between a representative for Keggins Homes, the developer behind Lawson’s Botanica project, and a second registered party believed to have been representing another Canberra developer.

The eventual sale price for the site, which can accommodate up to 100 dwellings, is millions of dollar above previous sales in the area.

The Doma Group bought a similar-sized block of land for $9.8 million under negotiation several years ago. 

The Forshore’s largest site, a 13,086-square-metre block located between the First Edition residential precinct and the Causeway, sold for $14 million at auction in March, 2015.

Keggins Homes managing director Jin Wang said his organisation wanted to build a distinct, smartly-designed structure Canberrans would be proud of at the north-facing, waterfront location.

“We’re open to smart ideas from good architects and want to engage some of the smartest architects out there,” he said.

“When people think of Sydney, they think of the Opera House. We want something that’s really smart and outstanding to be there at the Kingston Foreshore.”

Mr Wang did not reveal further details about the project however, the site is zoned for a hotel or mixed-use development, similar to other projects in the area.

Consultant John Hayes said there was no specific timeframe for the project’s progression at this stage however, the company would need to “move quick” to meet the contract’s strict time limits.

The Land Development Agency’s director of sales, marketing and land management, John Mason said residential apartments would be an attractive option for Site 14 given the land’s pricetag and uninterrupted views of Lake Burley Griffin.

“The site is arguably the best site they’ve offered in the Kingston Foreshore, it’s one of the last ones and it’s on the peninsular, with open space in front of it and unlimited water views of the lake,” he said.

“The way the site is a semi-circular shape is an opportunity for a developer to put in all apartments with lake views.”

Mr Mason said the sale price was “probably a little more than we anticipated” however, the agency had expected a strong level of demand.

He said future releases of land further around the lake would be on the cards once the Causeway Switching Station was decommissioned and removed.

CBRE and Independent Property Group sold the block on behalf of the Land Development Agency.

CBRE ACT managing director Andrew Stewart said it was the most expensive sale of land at the Kingston Foreshore, based on the total amount and price by unit.

“I think every dwelling that is going to be developed there will have waterfront views and that’s what attracted a lot of people,” he said.

“The inquiry level throughout the whole campaign was very strong however, there were a few concerns with the off-site works [required] which might have turned a few people off and knocked a few people out.”

Site 14, or Block 2, Section 67 is the 14th development site to be sold at the Foreshore since 2007.