Confirms what we all expected ... looks as though Urban Construct's days in Adelaide will be limited to completing the Balfours stage of the development, although I won't hold my breath waiting, despite the 3-6 month timeline for restarting this stage.
Urban's $900 million Franklin St project scrapped
by: Chloe Kennedy
From: City Messenger
July 05, 2012 11:13AM
A PLAN to build 540 apartments on the former Franklin St bus station site has been scrapped, with the City Council forced to abandon the final stage of a $900 million development.
The council has confirmed the second stage of the city's largest residential development will not go ahead after it dissolved part of its contract with Urban Construct and Brookfield Multiplex.
City Council project manager Mike Philipou said the site would be returned to the council because the developers had not met set timeframes.
Mr Philipou said poor pre-sales of apartments in The Precinct development were to blame for part of the contract being dissolved.
"The existing contract called for the sequential development of the sites," he said."
''As a result of the soft (property) market those development timeframes were at risk."
Elected members have discussed the issue behind closed doors several times in the past year, with its most recent discussion at last Tuesday's meeting (June 26).
Mr Philipou said the council would now look at its options for the reclaimed land, which could include selling it or entering into another joint venture.
They would look at a mixed-use residential development, with commercial and retail space on the ground floor, he said.
"This (site) location is strategically between the Central Market and the railway site and is very important for the city," he said.
"We are still considering our options on the site.
"The first thing is to understand the best development use for the site."
About 6900sq m of land on the bus station site and 670sq m of land on the former Balfours site, on the corner of Morphett and Franklin streets, have been handed back to the council.
The Precinct development masterplan was approved by the council in 2006 and included 1300 apartments over two sites.
Four other apartment towers on the old Balfours site, with about 650 apartments, will continue to be completed by Urban Construct and Brookfield Multiplex, with work set to re-start in the next three to six months.
Urban Construct and Brookfield Multiplex would not comment on the contract with the City Council.
Acting Lord Mayor David Plumridge said the council would work with the State Government and developers to look at how best to develop the site.
"We want to see a development that will stimulate activity, provide business opportunities, increase the city's residential population and support housing choice and social mix," he said.
The City Council's decision comes less than a year after the State Government axed its contract with the Urban Construct-led Newport Quays consortium, following years of delays in the development of the Port Adelaide waterfront.