Government sells prime Canberra site…again

Walker was speculated to be paying $60 million for Block 40, Section 100 (outlined).
The redundant Walker proposal at Block 40, Section 100.

Three months after shelving Walker Corporation as preferred developer to replace a prime Canberra site with an office, the ACT Government City Authority has sold it to the Snow family’s Capital Airport Group.

The 1.138 hectare former car park, Block 40, Section 100, part of an urban renewal precinct being delivered as part of the Raising London Circuit project, collected $53 million.

The land will now be developed with a mixed use project.

Walker had won approval for a sprawling 11 level office (artist’s impression, top) backed by three Commonwealth government arms: the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations, which had pre-committed 15 years, the Department of Education and the Australian Electoral Commission.

It was also reported that developer was paying c$60m following a state government planning authority tender launched in 2020, awarded two years later.

Walker is understood to have last year sought to increase the proposed density before agreeing to hand control of the site back to the authority.

Shelving that project leaves the government somewhat exposed as the office which accommodates the three tenants that would have moved there – 50 Marcus Clarke Street – sold to Charter Hall and GIC in 2021 for $335m.

Block 40, Section 100

CAG expects to start building on Block 40, Section 100 next year; on the corner of London Circuit and Northbourne Avenue, the parcel is next to City Hill and the Law Courts, on part of a proposed light rail route.

Elsewhere in the area, the group, established by Terry Snow and run by his stepson, Stephen Byron, last month paid $17.75m for a block on the corner of Vernon Avenue and Constitution Place with plans for a six storey office.

Containing 14,000 sqm, that asset is expected to have a c$150m end value.

The company is also behind the city’s Denman Prospect and Constitution Place projects, in the pocket.

CAG has also been developing a major business park on former airport land acquired by the federal government in 1998.

“This land can be so much more than a carpark,” ACT Government City Authority chief executive officer, Malcolm Snow, no relation to CAG’s owners, said.

“It will become a high-quality and sustainable development comprising buildings and spaces for thousands of people to connect with each other in the heart of our city,” he added (story continues below).

“It will make a major contribution to the ongoing renewal of our City Centre, encourage further private investment and support the livelihoods of many nearby restaurants, cafes and retail shops,” according to the executive.

CAG head of property, Richard Snow, said it is planning four buildings.

Canberra Airport Head of Property Richard Snow said the purchase is a testament to the Capital Property Group’s dedication to the growth and prosperity of Canberra.

“We are excited to transform this prominent site into an exciting mixed-used precinct featuring up to four buildings,” Richard Snow said.

“It will have a strong food and beverage focus to help attract national and international operators to Canberra and contribute to the vibrancy of our City Centre,” he added.

“This opportunity harnesses our long‑standing experience, award-winning precinct design skills and commitment to sustainability and excellence honed at Canberra Airport, Denman Prospect and Constitution Place over the past 25 years,” according to the executive.

Booming pocket

Near CAG’s latest site, Morris Property Group is proposing a seven storey office, One City Hill.

A gateway site for those approaching Parliament House from the south, the first stage of that development, a 28,000 sqm car park, opened in March.

Block 1, Section 121 – also known as the City West site – is earmarked for a mixed use project with at least 70 affordable dwellings after being put out to tender last May.

JLL’s Andrew Balzanelli marketed Block 40, Section 100.

Raising London Circuit is scheduled for completion in 2026.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of