ACT News


Braddon's Palko apartments released on the market

A new residential development in Braddon could alter the hipster vibe of the precinct, with the Lonsdale Street Traders set to be demolished to make way for the project.

The new building, called Palko, was released onto the market on Friday and will consist of 47 apartments and a 53-room hotel.

There will also be a laneway with shops and a 24-hour gallery, as well as about 300 new underground parking spaces.

Construction is expected to begin in November after the lease on the popular boutique pop-up store warehouse ends.

The founder of the Lonsdale Street Traders, Nick Bulum, is also the creative director of the company redeveloping the site, B & T Constructions.

He and his father, Ivan, have been redeveloping the northern end of Lonsdale Street and Mr Bulum said they aimed to continue the "industrial grunge" feel of the area in their designs.


But he said some Braddon regulars had asked him whether the new building would destroy the area's special vibe.

"The whole spirit of this street, which started with independent retail stores, I've kept that," he said. "And, as people will see in September, when we all move across [to ORI], that will be filled with all of us traders.

"The vibe of the street is getting more independent and more Canberra, which is great and which is the vision I've always wanted to see in this street."

As well as Palko, the company is developing ORI across the road, a shopping district and apartment building that is expected to be completed in October. It is understood that many of the traders will move into this new building when it is finished.

Mr Bulum said all but five of the apartments in the ORI complex have been sold and there were already 18 deposits on the units in Palko, which went on sale on Friday, starting at $459,000.

Moxom and Whitney florists co-owner Loulou Moxom said they were one of the businesses that would be moving from Lonsdale Traders across the road later this year.

She said the new Palko building was "amazing" and would be a great addition to the area.

"From what we've seen, it just looks beautiful – it just looks like something very new for Canberra," she said. "It's got that design principle. It's like the guys down at NewActon, they've really looked at it and thought about it."

Ms Moxom said it was the people rather than the buildings that created the unique atmosphere in Braddon.

"Braddon is creating its own vibe, and its own little sub-community, and I don't think that would change if [they built] a chicken shed or a cardboard box," she said.