The Canberra Services Club has applied to remove the concessional status of its Barton block with plans for a $50 million redevelopment of apartments and offices, as well as a new club to take over.
It comes as the club also plans another redevelopment of its Manuka Oval block, worth a further $50 million.
In March, the club applied to deconcessionalise its lease on the prominent block next to Manuka oval. The decision is still being considered by the planning directorate.
The Manuka site, at Block 1, Section 15 Griffith, was at the centre of a controversial unsolicited bid by the GWS Giants and Grocon to redevelop, which Chief Minister Andrew Barr ultimately ruled out just before the 2016 election.
Concessional leases are given to clubs and other groups at less than market value to provide community facilities, but Canberra's clubs are increasingly removing the concessional status to develop their blocks, including for housing, to make an income from them.
The services club bought the Barton site, Block 25, Section 6, on Blackall Street, from the ACT Rugby Union Club in 2015 after the services club's building at the Manuka Oval site was burnt down in 2011. This lead to the club merging with the Canberra Club. The plan is now for two clubs, both at redeveloped mixed-use sites, the Canberra Club in Barton and the services club in Manuka.
For the Canberra Services Club, a move to Manuka was a move back to its "spiritual home", club president Mike Kinniburgh said.
If both applications to remove the concessionial leases were approved both sites would be developed.
"We’re probably looking at a mixed-use, probably with a club in the bottom with some office space and some units on top - pretty much what’s in the area," Mr Kinniburgh said.
"Certainly at both sites we’re looking to do something along those lines."
The club had no set plans yet, but was looking to build "a really strong landmark building on both sites", he said.
"We’re all going out looking for ideas for what to do in Maunka and we’re basically waiting for the piece of paper to come through," he said.
"It was always our intention to build and return to Manuka, Barton was just temporary ... We just needed to look after our members."
He estimated that each site would cost $50 million to develop, if approved.
Both the Kingston Barton Residents Group and Griffith Narrabundah Community Association said they were concerned the ACT government was deconcesionalising leases to the benefit of developers at the expense of the community.
"While the community welcomes the news that the Canberra Services Club may stay at its spiritual
home, we also call on the Barr government to withhold the approval until there are finalised master,
conservation and land management plans," Kingston Barton Residents Group president Rebecca Scouller said.
"Many in the community were saddened with the loss of the iconic Canberra Services Club which has
now amalgamated with the Canberra Club, however the potential loss of yet another parcel of
community land for the profit of a club and privatisation of the land is becoming unsustainable in
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