Part of the former Northbourne Avenue public housing precinct has been sold to a developer for $28 million following the Suburban Land Agency's first online auction.
The 15,607-square-metre prime block of land in the heart of Canberra sits between the Rex Hotel and Haig Park on the Braddon side of Northbourne Avenue.
A tender for the block as part of a larger site was originally released in late 2018, however it was later pulled from the market after the chosen buyer failed to meet the reserve price.
The Suburban Land Agency said the block was sold to JWLand last week.
Suburban Land Agency spokesman Nicholas Holt said the auction, held on June 30, failed to attract any bids from the two registered parties but an agreement was reached with JWLand on July 3. The parties exchanged on Thursday.
JWLand national head of development Michael Prendergast said construction was expected to begin next year and generate 2000 jobs during the project.
"The inner north apartment market is proven and has great diversity. The area has matured and commands significant interest due to its proximity to the city, universities and its surrounding cafe and bar culture," Mr Prendergast said.
"New trends in urban living are shaping this part of Canberra, and we are proud to be part of this journey."
The mixed-used precinct will have a 25 metre frontage to Northbourne Avenue and could include about 600 units.
The developer will be required to incorporate 10 community housing dwellings and 80 affordable housing dwellings, 15 per cent of the site's total, Mr Holt said.
The land agency's chief executive, John Dietz, said the sale demonstrated confidence in the ACT commercial market, despite the recent uncertainty caused by COVID-19.
"The sale of Northbourne's Braddon site will certainly contribute to Canberra's good urban design. As part of the gateway to our city, it's a wonderful opportunity for a liveable and vibrant place with quality public domain and buildings," he said.
The former public housing site was placed on the market via tender in 2018, and was to be sold as a package with an adjacent block in Turner. City Renewal Authority chief executive Malcolm Snow said at the time this would achieve the best design outcome for the site.
The blocks were previously a part of the government's asset recycling initiative and the sites sat together.
A Suburban Land Agency spokesman said as they were no longer part of the initiative, it was easier to separate the blocks.