Canberra's Northbourne Flats are coming down - but it could be up to four years before they are demolished.
It could also cost up to $4.3 million to knock down the dilapidated public housing units which straddle Northbourne Avenue at Braddon and Turner, according to the development application lodged for the demolition.
Documents prepared for the Land Development Agency said an extension on when they could start construction would be sought as the flats are still home to hundreds of tenants.
"It is proposed that the timeframe for the commencement of construction (demolition) be within four years from the date of Notice of Decision," the documents said.
The demolition is part of the Commonwealth government's asset recycling program, from which the territory expected to reap $79 million from asset sales and $11 million in incentive payments in 2016-17.
The ACT government will spend about $40 million next financial year to buy or build new public housing, budget papers released last Tuesday show.
Another $6.3 million will go towards refurbishing and upgrading existing properties.
About $2.5 million would be spent to knock down the Turner-side flats, which is the larger of the two sites, while $1.8 million would be spent on the Braddon-side demolition.
Residents have been told they will not have to move before the development application is approved, according to documents filed with the development application.
The flats were built in the 1950s in response to high demand for housing for public servants in Canberra but have fallen into disrepair in recent times.
Their demolition and sale will open up 14,766 square metres of mixed-use land for redevelopment on the Turner side and 10,776 square metres on the Braddon side.
Another large slab of land on Northbourne will also be up for grabs soon, with Macarthur House in Lyneham also due to meet the wrecking ball in 2018.
The ACT government flagged the redevelopment of Northbourne Avenue around the light rail corridor under construction as a potential offset for the risk Australia's "unsustainable" property prices posed to the ACT's economic outlook.
"As noted in previous budget documents, a sudden tightening of financial conditions could represent a risk to the pace of dwelling construction, household expenditure and associated economic activity in the ACT," budget papers said.
"Locally, while property prices in Canberra are much more closely aligned to household income growth than in some other capital cities, these conditions also represent a risk to the outlook for the ACT's economy and public finances. Furthermore, property prices in Canberra are not immune to flow-on effects from the national market.
"Offsetting this is the potential upside that exists in relation to new development along the Northbourne Avenue corridor, as investors seek to take advantage of the construction of the new light rail route."