CSIRO launches tender for partner to deliver land development in Belconnen
Published on 9 May in the Canberra Times. Written by Natasha Boddy.
The CSIRO has begun the hunt for a partner to deliver a major redevelopment of its massive Ginninderra Field Station to make way for a new urban area on Canberra’s northern outskirts.
On Monday, the research organisation will begin advertising a tender calling for expressions of interest for a joint development partner.
The tender comes only days after the federal government gave the green light to a major shake-up in planning for the ACT, with the first comprehensive review of the National Capital Plan allowing CSIRO to sell off its 701-hectare Ginninderra Field Station and zoning it as urban.
Established in 1960, the field station is on the ACT-NSW border, framed by the Barton Highway, William Slim Drive, Owen Dixon Drive and Kuringa Drive.
According to tender documents, CSIRO currently uses a third of the land.
“This underutilisation of the land is inefficient for CSIRO and the community and greater benefits could be achieved through alternative use of this site,” the documents say.
“CSIRO wishes to partner with a suitable respondent for the purposes of establishing a new suburb(s) compromising residential, commercial, retail and community infrastructure and services.”
The expression of interest closes on May 19, which is expected to enable CSIRO to shortlist potential development partners.
Redevelopment could be underway within two to three years.
The planning changes, announced last week and reported first in Fairfax Media, will also allow residential development in Tuggeranong, west of the Murrumbidgee River, although it will be up to the ACT government to decide when the suburbs go ahead.
The parliamentary triangle’s East and West Blocks will be opened up for use as hotels, offices, restaurants, cafes or retail spaces and outdated federal government office buildings at Anzac Park East and West redeveloped.
CSIRO Ginninderra development prompts formulation of affordable housing strategy
Published on 29 March in the Canberra Times. Written by Tom McIlroy.
Redevelopment of the CSIRO’s Ginninderra Field Station could be under way within two years, as the research organisation looks to experts for proper integration of affordable housing options as part of a new community.
Experts from universities, social service agencies, charities, banks and financial institutions will come together for an affordable housing think tank event in Canberra on April 8, before the CSIRO engages a consortium or joint-development partner for redevelopment, pending federal government approvals on required zoning changes.
Affordable housing products are provided for rent or purchase at prices that low and moderate income households can afford, while also meeting other living expenses. The CSIRO expects to deliver more than the required 20 per cent quota on the field station site.
The 701-hectare area sits on the ACT-New South Wales border, framed by the Barton Highway, William Slim Drive, Owen Dixon Drive and Kuringa Drive.
First established in 1960, the field station replaced research sites at the current site of the Dickson shops. The area has been home to the development of a range of projects including novel grains and agricultural systems.
ACT Shelter executive officer Travis Gilbert welcomed the think tank event and said the CSIRO was committed to incorporating the needs to affordable housing consumers.
“I think what the event will do is provide an opportunity to bring some leading experts into one room to have a discussion about how we can guide the aspirations of CSIRO and those of housing people, to get what I think could be a good quality development and something a bit different to more rent housing developments,” he said.
“One of the issues when we talk about affordable housing is price … and what that can sometimes mean is putting as many tiny units per square metres of accommodation as you can get for the price and selling them at a price that is technically affordable but still maximises profit.”
Mr Gilbert said affordable housing didn’t mean cheap housing.
“What ACT Shelter is really interested in pursuing is how affordable is a home to live in? A higher energy efficiency rating, for example, makes it much cheaper for people to heat and cool their homes.”
The discussion will include shared equity and innovative purchase structures, shared housing arrangements and comparisons between ownership and rentals.