The former headquarters of the country's top spy agency is set to be demolished due to the building's owners being unable to find new tenants.
Plans are under way for ASIO's old headquarters in Russell to be razed, despite a report stating the building had "local heritage interest".
The building on Kelliher Drive was the home of ASIO between 1987 and 2014, before the organisation moved out into the purpose-built Ben Chifley Building in Parkes.
New tenants have not been able to be found to use the building for office space in the seven years since ASIO vacated the old headquarters.
Defence had originally planned to occupy the building after ASIO left it, but the plan never eventuated.
ASIO had leased the building during its tenure from the Department of Finance, which owned the site.
Documents lodged with the federal environment department, which needs to approve the demolition proposal, said the Department of Finance intends to transfer building ownership to the Department of Defence, who then intend to get rid of the building entirely.
"Finance considers that the building has reached its end of life," the documents said.
"It has very limited tenant prospects and is no longer a viable option for refurbishment with demolition the proposed course of action to reduce ongoing costs and liability for the Commonwealth."
Federal approval is needed for the demolition of the more than 15,000 square metre site to go ahead, due to the building being on land owned by the National Capital Authority.
A decision on demolition approval is expected to be made in coming weeks.
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While the Department of Defence declined to comment on the demolition proposal, a Finance Department spokeswoman told The Canberra Times there had been multiple efforts to find tenants for the former ASIO building following the spy agency's departure.
"The building has been offered as an accommodation option to several Commonwealth agencies, however, refurbishment is considered cost-prohibitive and not a value for money proposition," the spokeswoman said.
"The building footprint and ceiling heights do not readily support adaptive re-use for modern offices.
"A substantial investment would be needed to meet existing building standards."
While the former headquarters is part of the Russell Precinct Heritage area, the building has not been identified in the precinct's statement of significance.
A heritage impact assessment commissioned by the finance department for the site said there was some local heritage interest in the site.
"[The building] sits within the microcosm of the establishment of Canberra," the documents said.
"The site contributes to the development of Canberra as it demonstrates the pattern of centralisation in Canberra and its significance is found within the historical narrative.
"Finance notes that local significance is one of the eligible criteria for consideration on the Commonwealth heritage list."
The building was constructed specifically for use by ASIO in the early 1980s.
However, despite some heritage values being found, the assessment said the values were low ranking.
"Finance commissioned a heritage impact assessment and advises that the building is not heritage listed, the site does not contain natural heritage values or Indigenous values at a Commonwealth or local level," the finance spokeswoman said.
"The building does not demonstrate a high degree of creative, technical or aesthetic achievement."
The assessment noted the loss of historical values could be mitigated through detailed archival recordings.
Following ASIO moving out of the building in 2014, an archival recording was made of the building and uploaded to the National Library's Trove portal.
Historical items held by ASIO that were stored in the old headquarters had been transported to the new building.
The heritage assessment also said the required criteria for the building to be included on the ACT Heritage Register was not met.
National Trust ACT president Gary Kent said while the building was part of the heritage precinct in Russell, the old ASIO building wasn't singled out for attention.
"The National Trust would want to be sure that before anything happened to it, that its significance was assessed in relation to the Russell Heritage Precinct," he said.
"That precinct has been in place for a long time."
Public submissions on the demolition close on March 30.
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