Works have officially begun on Geocon's 797-apartment Wova development, with demolition works under way following the ACT government's decision to restart large-scale construction.
The Woden Tradies Club will be knocked down to make way for four residential buildings, varying in height from 12 to 23 storeys.
Project manager Ned Pattinson said the demolition of the existing building will take eight to 10 weeks.
"So we're trying to, by the end of the year, have the building down and be well and truly into the excavation," he said.
Despite several weeks of delays due to lockdown, the team at Geocon are confident the buildings will still be completed in 2024.
The mixed-use Wova development has had its fair share of criticism from the community. The original plans, submitted in 2018, were revised after residents raised concerns about the development's height and scale.
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The project was eventually given the green light with slight changes to building heights, however Woden Valley Community Council president Fiona Carrick said the community still holds concerns about "overshadowing, wind and privacy".
"Wova is a very high-density development with around 800 apartments and hotel rooms on just over a hectare," she said.
Ms Carrick said she hopes the ACT government's planning review will lead to a more balanced approach to planning mixed-use developments in the future.
"We would like to see land use planning that facilitates the social and economic development of the town centre and provides public green spaces and community facilities to create a contemporary urban hub that attracts people and supports small business."
Despite the criticism, Geocon sales director Tom Stephens said the project has been well-received.
More than 300 apartments have sold since the first two buildings went on the market six months ago, including a three-bedroom residence for $1.35 million.
"Despite the lockdown, things have been going quite well for for the project," he said.
"In the month of August we sold 40 apartments, and in September to date we're already at eight [sales].
"In my experience with Geocon over the last seven years, this has probably been one of the most well-received project releases to date, despite not being able to do one-on-one appointments and not being able to get potential purchasers to the site or to Canberra."
Wova's one-bedroom apartments, which start at $299,900, have been the most popular option, with 215 units sold so far.
Alongside the residential apartments, Wova will also feature a 40-room hotel and a range of amenities including an indoor lap pool, fitness studio, rooftop lounge and private cinema.
The next big milestone for the Wova project is the excavation of the site, said Mr Pattinson, which is likely to take about four months.
"Depending on what we find in the ground but all going well it'll be a four month dig, so we'll try and get into that by the end of September, start of October," he said.
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