The first two stages of Geocon's mammoth Belconnen Republic precinct have been "topped out", with tradies pouring the last rooftop slab on Thursday.
The 18-storey Dusk is the first of three towers on the site to have some 180 apartments carpeted, fitted, and ready for final sign-offs. More than 210 units are awaiting completion in the building.
The lobby of the Republic tower, or building A1, is white and stark against a dark glass facade above; a large staircase off it onto Belconnen skate park is described by project heads as the precinct's "centerpiece".
Geocon's general manager of construction, Damon Smith, said the tower's more than 390 apartments would be completed before Christmas this year. That, the tools being put down on Dusk, and the fitting out of Woolworths Metro and other retailers would mark the end of stage one, with residents expected in March 2020.
"Once the scaffolding starts to come down in the next few weeks we'll start to see the facade unraveled," Mr Smith said.
"I think that will take it from a raw construction site into a more inviting precinct, which is what we're trying to get out there."
The two 27-storey High Society towers - which would be Canberra's tallest at 113 and 100 metres high - make up stage two of the project and stand at five storeys, or "podium" level. They are slated for completion in September 2020; a couple of months later than expected.
Only inground and civil works have started for stage three of the precinct, which is yet to go to market.
Republic is the biggest mixed residential-commercial development with construction underway in Australia. It would have a total 1250 units over the three stages, and accommodate more than 2000 people.
Stage one alone has seen more than 265,000 hours of work, with more than 350,000 expected to be contributed by its completion.
About 195,000 tonnes of dirt have been removed from the site, or 6900 loads with a truck and trailer. Some 23,650 cubic metres of concrete have been poured for stage one, or the equivalent of 9.5 olympic swimming pools.
"There are a lot logistics involved with a construction project like this, and it does have a large impost on the community. We're trying to manage that as best we can," Mr Smith said.
"Coming towards the back end of the first stage, you'll start to see [works] roll off the Emu Bank side of things and back onto stage two.
"We're sort of handing stage one, which faces the foreshore, back to the community, whilst continuing construction works on stage two."
Stage one and stage two of the project would be separated by concrete barriers and fencing at the completion of stage one, Mr Smith said. This would minimise the disturbance to new residents, as would the early commencement of works on stage three.
In June, local businesses mostly welcomed the Republic precinct as it would bring an onslaught of new customers to the area. But doubts lingered over whether Belconnen's dated roads could deal with the traffic.
Authorities issued a stop-work notice at the site in July this year, after earlier knocking back amendments to a development application. A spokesman for Geocon there was no impact to building safety.
The notice was partially lifted nearly two weeks later.