Raiders eye $80m Braddon revamp
An artist's impression of the new Raiders building in Braddon.
The Canberra Raiders have unveiled their vision for the transformation of the rundown Braddon Club site.
The club's parent company is developing plans for an $80 million development for the Civic-fringe landmark including shops, restaurants, offices and 160 apartments.
The Canberra District Rugby League Inc is preparing to lodge a development application for the project, which it says will transform a neglected corner of Canberra's inner city.
An artist's impression of the Braddon redevelopment.
The Raiders and their architects are promising an innovative design, with a Melbourne-style lane in the complex adding to Braddon's evolving retail identity. There are no plans to attempt to develop the heritage-listed Braddon Oval next door or any of its buildings.
The development hinges on an application by the Raiders to ''de-concessionalise'' its lease on the block, giving it full control of the land and allowing the knockdown and rebuilding to go ahead, subject to development approval.
CDRL group chief executive Simon Hawkins said the redevelopment potential of the site had been obvious since the rugby league outfit acquired the club in 2005.
Architect Chris Millman, left, and Raiders Group CEO Simon Hawkins. Photo: Graham Tidy
''It's been in the back of our minds for some years and different developers have approached us over the years, wanting us to sell them the land because of the lack of development there,'' he said.
''But the value of it has improved as time went on and now we're in a position to do it ourselves.''
Mr Hawkins said the modern gaming environment had no room for minnows like the Braddon Club with its 46 poker machines, which the Raiders plan to redistribute around their other venues.
''The club is looking pretty ordinary and it's getting very difficult to operate small clubs now with changes of legislation and increasing amounts of compliance required. It's impractical to have clubs that size,'' Mr Hawkins said. ''So … the days of the Braddon Club are finished.''
The league executive said he believed that locals would be well briefed on the plans even before the formal development application process begins. ''We do have an appointment booked in with the Inner North Community Council … we've notified our members too, so the consultation process is well under way,'' he said.
Mr Hawkins said he believed the Raiders would win community support for the development.
''I'd like to think so, given the way the club looks now,'' he said.
''It's going to be a new vibrant building, not an ugly eyesore, and offer facilities that aren't available there now, so there are good reasons for the community to support it.
''Developments like this are always going to be something that interests the community. If you work near it or live near it, [then] you've probably got a heightened interest in it.''
Poll: What do you think of the Canberra District Rugby League Inc proposal to redevelop the Braddon Club site?
- I think it's great. The site is rundown, and this proposal looks fantastic.
- The area needs to be redeveloped, but I'm not quite sold by this design.
- Sure, redevelop it, but leave it as a club house.
- Leave it as it is. Why does everything have to be redeveloped?
Total votes: 510.
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Poll closed 12 Mar, 2013
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