Federal government sells Canberra site to Geocon for $24m

The site (outlined) is near Canberra Centre and Capital Hill.

The former Werriwa Defence Facility, within cooee of Australia’s Parliament House, has sold to Canberra’s largest developer Geocon for $24 million.

The federal government listed 70 Allara Street for public sale late last year.

Multiple development outcomes were marketed – amongst them hospitality, offices, residential and retail.

Geocon is expected to construct a medium-density housing project.

It would be limited from designing anything taller than 25 metres according to the marketing agents – but there is no gross floor restriction.

Site at centre of urban renewal precinct

The 7640 sqm block has 96 metres of London Circuit frontage in a pocket undergoing urban renewal.

Property and infrastructure projects under construction or mooted within a 10 minute walk of the site, according to Savills marketing agents Andrew Stuart and Stuart Cox, include the Capital Metro Light Rail, Civic-to-Woden Light Rail Stage 2 route, ACT Law Courts – the territory’s first public-private partnership – and new ACT government headquarters.

The holding is also close to (the southern end of) City Walk, City Hill Park, Canberra Centre shopping complex, Canberra Casino, and Civic Pool, the latter built in 1955.

Commonwealth Avenue, which connects the area to Capital Hill, is in the immediate vicinity, too.

A number of large commonwealth and local government departments occupy offices near 70 Allara Street – amongst them the Department of Home Affairs, Murray Darling Basin Authority and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Despite this, the agents marketed that both the National Land status and a 99 year Crown lease purpose clause (expiring in 2116) allows “unrestricted residential uses” for the land.

Nine offers were submitted following an expressions of interest campaign which closed on December 19.

Three suitors were in the final round.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of realestatesource.com.au.