Curtin Residents Association has withdrawn an appeal to the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal to have a five-storey mixed residential and commercial development's approval "set aside".
The development of the site at 41 Curtin Place has long been contested by the association's executive. If its plea had succeeded, it likely would have resulted in it remaining fenced off for several more months or years.
Some of the shops have been fenced off since January 2018.
"The association's priority has always been to engage with the developer and the ACT Planning Authority to resolve the community's remaining concerns, in the expectation that they would be similarly minded," association president Chris Johnson said in a letter to members on Monday.
"Unfortunately, they were not."
The decision to withdraw the bid comes a few days after Curtin residents and business owners rallied together to protest the association's objection, saying the standstill was hurting the community.
It is understood the site will now remain conditionally approved by the planning authority, with JGS Property director of project and development management, Zelko Mandic, saying the complex would be completed within 18 months.
"It's a sensible and long overdue move by the Curtin Residents Association's executive," Mr Mandic said.
"It's an outcome that will now benefit the Curtin business community, the Curtin residents and the broader [Canberra] community."
Mr Johnson, who has long blamed the site's owners, the Haridemos family, for hurting business by letting it sit unoccupied for so long, said the tribunal action was initially launched in the hopes of getting a better outcome for residents, but the association was unsuccessful in doing so.
The Haridemos family had been granted an extension to submit a revised development application to planning authorities some 18 months after their initial one was rejected.
It proposed 50 rather than the planned 36 residential units, three basement car park levels rather than the current two, and six storeys rather than five.
By the time of the submission, the shops had already been closed for more than six months.
"The Curtin Residents Association initially lodged the action in hope of negotiating to ensure that the development would provide adequate open communal space and public amenities, maintain sunlight and not reduce pedestrian safety," Mr Johnson said.
"Our objective of trying to get a better solution was not met and, rather than unnecessarily create further delay, the association has withdrawn the application."
The association was aware of how the development was impacting local businesses, Mr Johnson said, and encouraged the developer to start work on the site immediately.
"We look forward to seeing 41 Curtin Place developed quickly and we call on everyone to continue supporting our local businesses in the meantime," he said.
Mr Johnson had previously said the association expected the tribunal proceedings, which began in February, would only last six weeks. The next hearing was expected in mid-June.
- The Canberra Times is introducing subscription packages for online readers from June 6. Packages will cost from as little as $3 a week for unlimited articles on any device. Premium packages will offer additional exclusive benefits, including access to the digital replica edition of the daily newspaper and interactive puzzles.
- Touch or click here for more information.