ACT News


Landmark Wright site earmarked for 180 units

Plans have been lodged for the second biggest multi-unit development site in Wright following the ACT government's approval of the largest townhouse project for the suburb.

Developer Empire Building Group plans to build 180 dwellings in a series of 10 buildings on the corner of John Gorton Drive and Uriarra Road.

The project, called Panorama, will consist of six-storey and four-storey apartment buildings and eight two- and three-storey townhouse buildings. The developer purchased the almost 18,000 square metre site for $7.2 million in March 2012.

Public submissions on the proposed development can be lodged through the ACT Planning and Land Authority until Wednesday, August 14.

Architect Fred Kasparek said the tallest building on the site would be located on the northern corner, which was also the lowest point of the block.

He said it would be the feature building of the development and it would become the focal point for the suburb due to Panorama's position on the intersection of the main roads.


Kasparek said the steepness of the site had provided the greatest challenge in designing the project but ''it creates a very exciting environment to live in''.

He said the three open spaces within the development and the planned landscaping were also an important component of the project. ''We know in years to come it will have a really exceptional character to it,'' Kasparek said.

LJ Hooker Project Marketing sales agent Keenan Veraar said expressions of interest were being taken ahead of the official release of the project in about two weeks.

He said the first release would consist of 40 two- and three-bedroom townhouses and 40 apartments.

Construction is expected to begin at the end of the year.

Panorama will be built next to developer Geocon's Observatory Living project, which the ACT government recently approved.

The Master Builders Association of the ACT has called for clarity over the government's land sale process following the planning authority's approval of more units for the Observatory Living site than was initially permitted. The Land Development Agency had set a maximum of 212 units for the sale of the block, but ACTPLA approved 270 units.

Land Development Agency chief executive David Dawes said the maximum dwelling number was set to act as a limit during the sales process to enable a level playing field and did not ''artificially constrain the outcome'', as a developer could seek a lease variation after settlement.

Three multi-unit sites remain to be sold in the first suburb to be developed in the Molonglo Valley.

Two blocks for developments of about 123 and 158 units have not yet been put on the market and are included in the government's indicative land release program for 2015-16.

The third block, which allows for a development of up to 85 dwellings, remains for sale following the land passing in at auction in April last year.