The derelict Aranda shops could soon see some improvement as the ACT government has resorted to drastic steps to deal with the neglected eyesore.
In a rare government enforcement action, the owner of the derelict Aranda shops, Gaha Holdings Pty Limited, has been served with a notice of intention to terminate its Crown lease.
ACT Planning and Land Authority served its intention to terminate the lease after complaints from residents.
The Aranda Residents Group had raised concerns about the safety of the site.
If the lease was terminated, it would be one of only a handful revoked since territory land titles were created 89 years ago.
An authority spokeswoman said there had been no leases terminated since self-government in 1988.
The ACT government had, in the past, begun proceedings to terminate, but an actual termination had not taken place.
"Reasons for this may include because the lessees complied with the order, the termination did not progress due to legal proceedings or because a financial institution has stepped in to claim the land as the mortgagee in possession," the spokeswoman said.
There is one other notice of termination issued in the territory at present.
The lessee was served on September 10, and was given 15 working days to submit reasons why the lease should not be terminated.
Those reasons are under consideration by the authority. The resident whose complaint has been acted on will be notified of the decision. An authority spokeswoman said they could not reveal details due to privacy issues.
The Aranda site was a thriving suburban shopping centre a few decades ago but gradually fell into disrepair. While a handful of businesses and community groups have come and gone the site has been empty for years.
In 2004, a $3.5 million development combining commercial and residential units was proposed, but objections were raised.
Following that proposed investment from the SAND (Aranda Development) company, now known as the Gaha Group or Gaha Holdings Pty Limited, the site has been in limbo.
Attempts have been made to contact the director of Gaha Holdings Pty Limited but The Chronicle has received no response.