The ACT government is set for a more than $17 million payday from the Australian National University for land, after the payment was delayed for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The ANU has bought two sites in the city, which include a bus layover site. But plans to build on the Marcus Clarke Site had stalled. It would first be used as a "temporary urban park", an estimates hearing has heard.
The ANU was expected to settle on the $17.1 million site next month after the university bought the site in April last year, City Renewal Authority chief executive Malcolm Snow told the hearing.
Mr Snow said ANU intended to have a residential component to the site.
"[ANU] shared with us some of their intentions, indeed it was an obligation on them that as part of that agreement ... at this stage it will of course be primarily university but a residential component possibly," he said.
"They have also talked about a number of other university-related uses that could potentially be integrated on that site."
But Mr Snow said the City Renewal Authority, which managed the sale, had agreed the site would be first used as a temporary park.
"The agreement with ANU is that they would with reasonable haste proceed with development of that site but we have also agreed in the interim, once that settlement has occurred, that will be turned into a temporary urban park at their cost," he said.
The site was expected to remain a bus layover until a new layover was completed in Turner, on the corner of Barry Drive and Watson Street.
The new City West layover would be completed in "early 2021", the the territory government said.
The direct sale of the ANU site was outlined in the the City Renewal Authority's annual report for 2019-20.
It revealed the ANU was able to defer its payment to the territory government, which hit the authority's bottom line last financial year, the report said.
The report said the deferral was given "as part of the government's support to local employers in response to the pandemic".
The Canberra Times asked ANU to for its timeline for the development of the site, along with more details about plans for future residential development and the "temporary urban park".
In a statement an ANU spokesman confirmed the sale but did not provide further detail.
"In the coming years we will work through the full design and concept development of this space," the spokesman said.
"This will include consultation with appropriate stakeholders.
"In the interim, the bus exchange will remain in place. After the buses have moved and prior to the full development of the site, the university will work with the City Renewal Authority to activate this space."
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