Macquarie apartment boom set to continue
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Macquarie apartment boom set to continue

Apartment developments are set to become the new norm in Macquarie.

That's the message from the chair of the Belconnen Community Council as the population in the area continues to expand.

Designs for new apartments proposed for Bowman Street in Macquarie.

Designs for new apartments proposed for Bowman Street in Macquarie.

"Belconnen is growing at a fast rate. Every block that has a two or three-storey building on it is the equivalent of a suburb that we don't need with bulldozers cutting down the bush," Damien Haas said.

"There'll be a lot more multistorey buildings near Jamison [Plaza] and the town centre."

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Internal designs for the proposed apartments. Belconnen Community Council chair Damien Haas said the area is experiencing a surge of development.

Internal designs for the proposed apartments. Belconnen Community Council chair Damien Haas said the area is experiencing a surge of development.

The comments come as 80 new apartments are being earmarked for construction on Bowman Street opposite Jamison Plaza.

Plans have been lodged with the Environment and Planning Directorate for a four and five-storey building on the site, with the project estimated to cost $18 million.

It follows on from the $30 million Parc project, which would see 74 apartments built across the road as well as almost 50 new townhouses constructed on nearby Redfern Street.

A decision on whether the Bowman Street site is approved will be handed down on October 21.

Mr Haas said a reason for the influx of apartment developments in the area was due to people downsizing.

"There's a lot of people in Belconnen who have moved out but want to stay within the same social circles," he said.

"We've seen density increase because of more services."

The architect behind the future Bowman Street project, Nathan Judd, said many of the apartments have been designed for those downsizing.

"We wanted to create something special in the Jamison-Macquarie area and give people that option," he said.

"About 90 per cent of apartments sold in the area are people downsizing.

"We hope to start construction on the site early next year."

Construction, however, would require the demolition of an Anytime Fitness located on the site.

The gym's lease expires in August next year, after being on the site for five years.

Mr Judd said Anytime Fitness was offered a space in the new apartment complex but declined, with demolition to take place after the lease expires.

A spokeswoman for Anytime Fitness said the company is in early discussions with the developer and would continue to operate in the area.

However, the gym's manager Matthew Johnson said he was only informed of the new development last week through a notice on the gym's gate.

"There was a bit of shock, at first I didn't understand what it was all about," he said.

Despite the impending demolition next year, Mr Johnson said the future development has "worked out well" for the gym, moving to a larger location in the Macquarie area.

"We were going to be relocating eventually and we at least have the lease on the block until August next year," he said.

Despite more apartments being proposed for the Belconnen, don't expect any high-rise buildings any time soon.

"There will be more buildings over 10 storeys, but that would only be in the town centre and not around Jamison," Mr Haas said.

Andrew Brown is a journalist at the Sunday Canberra Times. Andrew has worked at the Canberra Times since 2016.

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