Canberra's rising population and downsizing Baby Boomers will absorb new apartments coming on line in Canberra, and avoid an over-supply, says a major property developer.
SHL Developments is redeveloping the Currong and Allawah housing site in Braddon, near the Canberra Centre, and plans more than 500 new apartments. Demolition began in May and should be completed by late November 2016.
SHL Developments, which paid $47 million for the inner city block in February, says the project will include social, cultural, retail and commercial spaces.
Development manager Michael Prendergast said new buildings would range from three to 12 storeys and would be designed to create flow and synergy between existing retail and dining precincts in and around the Canberra Centre and Braddon.
Planning and design is underway for the first stage and construction will start in 2017, creating hundreds of jobs over the next three to four years.
Mr Prendergast said Canberra's population was growing. "Unlike in previous decades where retirees would opt for a tree- or sea-change, there are a growing number of people who are choosing to stay in Canberra after they retire," he said.
"Baby Boomers are increasingly opting to downsize into well-appointed apartments in medium-to-high density precincts.
"This has been our experience in 'Campbell 5' with a significant number of purchasers looking to live somewhere with greater amenity. They want to be closer to the city and the lake so that they can enjoy the type of lifestyle that proximity affords them.
"Similarly as land prices continue to rise, Canberra's younger population are increasingly finding good value in apartments."
Mr Prendergast said the architectural design of the new project would employ principles of sustainable urban development and community building.
"Apartments will be designed to take advantage of available natural light and air flow to reduce the need for heating and cooling, and the precinct will feature open communal spaces for residents, visitors to the city and the wider Canberra community to enjoy."
Allawah Court is tenanted and work won't begin until it is vacated in the first half of next year. A spokesman for the Land Development Agency said the latest date for completion of sale could be December 31, 2017.
Total cost for the Currong demolition is about $3 million.