Public housing block to make way for 400 units, childcare centre and medical facility

The former Stuart Flats public housing complex would be redeveloped with more than 400 apartments, a childcare centre and medical facility under a proposed $300 million transformation of the prime inner-south site.

Morris Property Group has unveiled its vision for the project, less than a month after it snapped up the land for $55.6 million at an ACT government auction.

The proposed estate, which the developer is spruiking as potentially "transformative" for the Manuka precinct, would include 414 units, spread across buildings ranging from three to six storeys in height.

It would include a basement carpark, and possibly commercial accommodation, according to preliminary concept plans.

The proposed number of dwellings is the maximum permitted under the lease for the three blocks which comprise the Morris Property Group's holdings on the site. The fourth Stuart Flat block was sold to Bisa Property for $8.25 million at last month's auction.

From left: Barry Morris, James Morris and Geordie Edwards at the site of the former Stuart Flats in Griffith. Photo: Karleen Minney.

From left: Barry Morris, James Morris and Geordie Edwards at the site of the former Stuart Flats in Griffith. Photo: Karleen Minney.

The ACT government last year relocated public housing tenants at Stuart Flats, as it prepared to sell the site as part of its urban renewal agenda. The 1959-built units have since fallen into a state of disrepair and become a target for vandals.

Demolition works at the site are scheduled to start by the middle of the year.

Morris Property Group development manager Geordie Edwards said those works would pave the way for a development which would reinvigorate the area.

"We see this as a strong urban renewal project," Mr Edwards said.

"Currently the site has dilapidated buildings, which is uncontributing to the Manuka retail precinct. We see this development as transformative as it's going to open up the eastern side of the commercial precinct, bring a number of new residents to the area that will enhance and create a vibrant retail space."

Mr Edwards said the childcare centre and medical facility would cater to growing demand for the services from young families and retirees.

The Barry Morris-led group last week presented the design concepts to the Griffith-Narrabundah Community Association.

The association's president, Leo Dobes, said the group was impressed by the proposal.

But Mr Dobes said the community remained concerned the development would lead to increased traffic and a further squeeze on car parking space in Manuka.

Mr Edwards said the developer would seek feedback from the national capital design review panel on its plans, before lodging a development application with the ACT Planning and Land Authority in July. He said construction was expected to start in 2020, with the estate to be built in stages, subject to planning approvals and market demand.