[APP] Former LeCornu Redevelopment | Mixed Use

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[APP] Former LeCornu Redevelopment | Mixed Use

#1 Post by Howie » Tue Jul 19, 2005 9:56 pm

Check out the webpage that the city council just put up about the consultation http://www.adelaide.sa.gov.au/council/p ... _cornu.htm

Loads of information, including 3 possible outcomes for the Makris group (who currently owns the land).

1st one is a very basic street level complex,
2nd is a higher level complex.
3rd is the render of what we've all seen, which is mixed retail/apartment with leisure and cinema facilities.

Obviously third would be preferable for most of us. There's also a questionaire to fill out on the site, as far as i know anyone can fill it out. You give you preference and they'll take it into consideration.

It closes on august 1st 2005, so get in quick.

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#2 Post by petermaloney » Tue Jul 19, 2005 10:04 pm

i was just about to post this -
OVERVIEW

O’Connell Street is the hub of the North Adelaide area, and the former Le Cornu site is a key feature of this busy streetscape. Suitably developed, this site could play an important role in ensuring that O’Connell Street continues to develop in a manner that encapsulates the unique character of North Adelaide.

Council is undertaking consultation to assist it in determining whether and/or how to finalise proposed planning rules for the Le Cornu site.

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#3 Post by Algernon » Tue Jul 19, 2005 10:09 pm

Looks to me like they're in the consultation phase of a PAR process, which is basically a move to ammend the local development regulations to allow it to be approved. Don't hold your breath though - PAR's are signed off by locally elected councillors. We know that Mayor Harbison is relatively on side with developers, but still, approving this building in North Adelaide is political suicide. I don't like the chances of this going through.

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[APP] SWP: Former LeCornu Redevelopment | 20m | 6lvls | Mixed Use

#4 Post by stumpjumper » Sun Aug 14, 2005 2:01 pm

Anyone care to comment on the proposed 7 level hotel/cinema/residential/retail development on the old Le Cornu site?

It's probably one fo the most contentious current development proposals in Adelaide, not least because it sets a local precedent for its approval process: although there is no development application lodged, the Adelaide City Council is spending 50K on a public consultation process.

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#5 Post by Pants » Mon Aug 15, 2005 9:20 am

It's a difficult one this one.

The land in question is undoubtably one of the city's most prime allotments and accordingly shouldn't be underdeveloped.

On the other hand, the bulk and height of the proposed development may be too much for residential North Adelaide.

You could argue that Hotel Adelaide (and eventually Place on Brougham) is of a similar height as the proposed Makris Hotel and other scattered apartment towers are even taller, but if they're considered mistakes of the past, it could be said that they should not necessarily be repeated.

My view is that the development should go through in its proposed state, but I would be against anything similar being built in North Adelaide other than on O'Connell street, which I hope in future will have tram access and become a real thriving gateway to the city.

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#6 Post by Howie » Mon Aug 15, 2005 9:52 am

I agree with you pants. Perhaps we should have a front page poll on this?

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#7 Post by Al » Mon Aug 15, 2005 9:57 am

Pants wrote:My view is that the development should go through in its proposed state, but I would be against anything similar being built in North Adelaide other than on O'Connell street, which I hope in future will have tram access and become a real thriving gateway to the city.
I'd have to agree with this. O'Connell Street seems appropriate for these sorts of developments, especially with light rail service.

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#8 Post by Howie » Mon Aug 15, 2005 10:19 am

Poll Added to the Front Page.

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#9 Post by Pants » Mon Aug 15, 2005 1:55 pm

Various pics etc that I've posted in the thread on SSC:

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#10 Post by stumpjumper » Tue Aug 16, 2005 1:57 am

It's a strange one. No plans have been lodged, but Council is spending $50k of ratepayers money on consultation, perhaps setting an expensive precedent for PAR consultation.

the proposal as far as can be made out from what the developer's planning pr firm (a company called QED) has released includes a 7 star hotel. The international hotels association recognises up to five stars, and a few hotels describe themselves as six stars. Only one hotel in the world the Burj al-Arab hotel in Dubai calls itself a 7 star establishment. Have a look at

http://www.funlol.com/funpages/seven-star-hotel.html for pics and

http://www.burj-al-arab.com/ for other info

You have to wonder how Makris' hotel in O'Connell St is going to measure up to a place like that. Round the clock English butlers, on call current model Rolls Royces, helicopter pad, 18th floor gymnasium, 8 restaurants including one only accessible by submarine, laptop, printer copier fax etc in each suite - published daily rates from AUD2000 for a single bedroom to AUD4150 for a twin. Pretty competitive for Adelaide.

There is a 2000 seat auditorium, too.

A couple of points:

My thinking is that the proposal is a sort of 'ambit claim' containing a number of elements that can be sacrificed to give the appearance of a painful reduction in the scale etc of the development, right down to near unprofitability. Other city developers are past masters at this game.

With Rundle Mall traders struggling, how would Adelaide City Council going to explain to their commercial backers their approval what is clearly a regional shopping centre in North Adelaide?

Industry standards of floor area per resident suggest that the two supermarkets already operating in North Adelaide provide more than enough supermarket shopping for the locals. Casual visits to those two supermarkets at peak time suggest that the checkouts are not over stressed. So they are definitely thinking of a regional centre.

As it is, Rundle Mall gets only about 20% of the metro retail spend. Westfield gets most of the rest. Marion alone picks up about 30%. Westfield (and its successors at Arndale) have neatly triangulated the CBD with TTP, Arndale, and Marion so that the majority of metro dewllers have to drive past a Westfield to get to the CBD. So tghe traditional strip of Rundle Mall needs all the help it can get. 88 O'Connell seems planned to suck customers from the gentrifying inner suburbs from say, Croydon around to Hampstead Gardens. I don't think the city traders will be pleased.

As for the notoriously tetchy North Adelaide residents, I'd say most of them would love to see the eyesore Le Cornu site developed.

As an aside, though North Adelaide is desperately short of parking, ACC will not allow the vacant site of 17 years standing to be used as an open air carpark, even landscaped. Two reasons - zoning, and public risk (tripping, assault etc). Who will pay the insurance premiums for that risk?

Anyway, the present planning allows three levels above ground on the site. The price Makris paid reflected that three level potential. To have the zoning changed to allow 7 levels after the sale will not only make Oberdan (the previous owner) it is very poor planning practice.

And what about the supermarket across the road, which Makris owns? The tenants there have been told nothing. They are all on monthly tenancies, but have not been offered anything across the road, where we are told Gucci, Versace etc will be the tenants. The big names international names couldn't sustain such shops in the fashion mecca of Melbourne - how are they going to survive here?

The question is, what is behind all this apparent ego tripping on the part of Makris? Information is hard to get. The architects, Ignite, are an in-house Makris operation. Everything else is top secret and what information there is is heavily massaged by QED and the other main spinner, the Premier's former head spin-doctor who is now on the Makris payroll.

What is wrong with a heavily residential three level development with a solid retail component. History suggests that the residential compnenet would sell like hot cakes. Good retail in North Adelaide lets well too at reasonable rents.

Can Makris expect ACC to approve a development that requires heavy delivery trucks and garbage removal trucks for the underground supermarket and the major international hotel to be made after hours in a primarily residential area, and to share the hotel's passenger setdown and main entrance, which is to be situated off a skinny little side street (Centenary Street)?

What about the 700-1000 cars from the proposed auditorium which will overfill the onsite parking (already shared by the hotel, the private apartments, customers for the supermarket, shops, restaurants etc and maybe staff as well) onto the street in a 15 minute span?

It's a strange one, as I said. Makris seems to be aiming for something, but what?

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#11 Post by stumpjumper » Tue Aug 16, 2005 2:45 am

It's a strange one. (And here's another long one)

My opinion is that the development should go ahead, but under the existing planning regs, eg 3 levels above ground. At the price Makris paid for the site, by my rough estimates a residential development with a retail component on O'Connell St would offer a reasonable return.

Is it the old story of buying land then using your muscle to have it rezoned so you can develop it more extensively and take a profit far in excess of what would be expected considering the purchase price?

You have to wonder about this odd 'approval' process, with Adelaide City Council agreeing to spend $50k of ratepayers money consulting the public on a project for which there has been no development application. Does it set an expensive precedent? Will Council consult the whole of North Adelaide on my behalf if I bought an allotment there and wanted to develop it an extra 100% or so outside the limits of the planning regulations?

North Adelaide residents are being actively lobbied by pr experts Makris has employed Premier Rann's former head spin doctor as well as a bevy of planning lawyers and consultants such as QED, in addition to his own in-house architects Ignite. Local residents who object not to the idea of redevelopment but to the height, scale and likely impact of this development are being characterised by the Makris group as NIMBY's, anti-progressive etc. (ref Makris brochures, media statements etc).

Again, my information from folks up on the hill (my mate calls it North Air Delight) is that they are very keen to see a development, just not a seven level one creating such large traffic flows.

Here are a few points:

The proposal as far as can be made out from Makris' PR includes a 7 star hotel.

The international hotels association recognises up to five stars, and a few hotels describe themselves as six stars. Only one hotel in the world the Burj al-Arab hotel in Dubai calls itself a 7 star establishment. Have a look at

http://www.funlol.com/funpages/seven-star-hotel.html for pics and

http://www.burj-al-arab.com/ for other info

You have to wonder how Makris' hotel in O'Connell St is going to measure up to a place like that. Round the clock English butlers, on call current model Rolls Royces, helicopter pad, 18th floor gymnasium, 8 restaurants including one only accessible by submarine, laptop, printer copier fax etc in each suite - published daily rates from AUD2000 for a single bedroom to AUD4150 for a twin. Pretty competitive for Adelaide.

There is a 1000 seat auditorium and 5 cinemas, too. Hard to make money with those, I would have thought, in spite of having a few high end specialty shops and cafes to support them. There's no major 'anchor tenant'. The underground supermarket is not overly large as supermarkets go, and wouldn't really qualify.

Very interesting.

My thinking is that the proposal is a sort of 'ambit claim' containing a number of elements that can be sacrificed to give the appearance of a painful reduction in the scale etc of the development, right down to near unprofitability. Other city developers are past masters at this game. The idea is that after all the crocodile tears you end up still 40% over the planning limit and you go home very happy indeed. But if you ask for the 40% over straight off, you'll probably be told no.

But with Rundle Mall traders struggling, how would Adelaide City Council going to explain to their commercial backers their approval what is clearly a regional shopping centre in North Adelaide?

Industry standards of floor area per resident suggest that the two supermarkets already operating in North Adelaide provide more than enough supermarket shopping for the locals. Casual visits to those two supermarkets at peak time suggest that the checkouts are not over stressed.

A few words about retail in Adelaide (I stand to be corrected if anyone can update my figures):

Rundle Mall gets only about 20% of the metro retail spend. Westfield centres get most of the rest. Marion alone picks up about 30% of the total metro retail spend. Westfield (and its successors at Arndale) have neatly triangulated the CBD with TTP, Arndale, and Marion so that the majority of metro dwellers have to actually drive past a Westfield to get to the CBD. So the traditional strip of Rundle Mall needs all the help it can get.

88 O'Connell seems planned to suck customers from the gentrifying inner suburbs from say, Croydon around to Hampstead Gardens. That's a crucial and growing market for Rundle Mall. I don't think the city traders will be pleased.

As for the notoriously tetchy North Adelaide residents, I'd say most of them would love to see the eyesore Le Cornu site developed.

As an aside, though North Adelaide is desperately short of parking, ACC will not allow the vacant site of 17 years standing to be used as an open air carpark, even landscaped. Two reasons - zoning, and public risk (tripping, assault etc). Who will pay the insurance premiums for that risk?

Anyway, the present planning allows three levels above ground on the site. The price Makris paid for the site reflected that three level potential. To have the zoning changed to allow 7 levels after the sale will not only make the previous owner spit chips, it is very poor planning practice.

And what about the supermarket across the road, which Makris owns? The tenants there have been told nothing. Perhaps the scheme closely involves redevelopment that site. Not so much is being said about its future. The traders there are all on monthly tenancies, but have not been offered anything across the road (so they say), where we are told Gucci, Versace etc will be the tenants. The big names international names couldn't sustain such shops in the fashion mecca of Melbourne - how are they going to survive here? Maybe the $4000 per night customers of the 7 star hotel will patronise them.

The question is, what is behind all this? Is it ego tripping on the part of Makris? Or does he think that this elaborate performance will swing the public and the council and allow him to make a super-profit on a site that he bought with the potential of only three levels?

Good information is hard to get. Makris' architects, Ignite, are an in-house operation. Everything else is top secret and what information there is is heavily massaged by QED and the other spinners on the Makris payroll.

What is wrong with a primarily residential three level development with a solid retail component on O'Connell St,plus some much needed parking. History suggests that the residential component would sell like hot cakes. Good retail in North Adelaide lets well too at the right rents.

Can Makris expect ACC to approve a development that requires heavy delivery trucks and garbage removal trucks for an underground supermarket and Australia's most prestigious international hotel to be loading and unloading after hours in a primarily residential area, sharing by the way the hotel's passenger setdown and main entrance, which is to be situated off a skinny little side street (Centenary Street)?

What about the 700-1000 cars from the proposed auditorium and cinema complex which will overfill the onsite parking (already shared by the hotel, the private apartments, customers for the supermarket, shops, restaurants etc and maybe staff as well) onto the street within relatively short time spans?

With respect, the argument that the 30 year old apartments at 13 Brougham Place and the 40 year old Hotel Adelaide, now well outside the Development Act height limits, are a good precedent is specious. It's like deliberately speeding then saying 'But many years ago there was no speed limit on this road, officer.'

It's a strange one, as I said. Makris seems to be aiming for something, but what?

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#12 Post by Algernon » Tue Aug 16, 2005 12:25 pm

Perhaps the biggest question I have about this development is where the initiative for this quirky planning practise has originated from within the council itself.

Having watched a couple of meetings of the development assessment panel, it's quite apparent that the elected members work under very close scrutiny of the local residents (quite understandble for obvious reasons). I have noticed that there appears to be a subtle faction within the DAP. I've not followed preceedings for long enough to clearly identify what these factions are, but it seems to me that over half of the DAP is comprised of members who can be rather rigid and consistent in raising issues about developments that aren't mirrored on the other side. However in many cases, there's no clear opposition to these people in the DAP, as Harbison too can be extremely thorough when scrutinising proposals. It's very confusing stuff. There's so much grey area there that i'll probably never figure it out.

Anyway, just to highlight this rigidity I refer to, last night I witnessed councillors attacking complying developments on the basis of very minor details. For instance, a doorway that was sufficiently deep that one could hide in it, the accoustic attenuation performance of a 3m high wall, the safety of a balcony on a complying residential development. To forum regulars, these would appear minor, niggling details, but these details can become the centre of discussions at meetings of the DAP. This of course raises the question for me - in such a climate, how could a non complying 7 level shopping/hotel complex gain approval?

Perhaps this in part explains why such a covert process has been undertaken to pseudo-propose this building. It almost appears proponents for the development are chipping away at the edges, trying to soften up the public and certain councillors, before they ultiamtely take the plunge and put the proposal in. But as I previously said, who is it in the council that is quietly trying to get this proposal's foot in the door? Is there anyone, or is it the planners trying to get the foot in the door?

Many of these questions will be answered when the DAP meets and discusses the proposal. No idea when that will occur though, there has to be a proposal in front of the DAP before that can happen.

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#13 Post by stumpjumper » Tue Aug 16, 2005 5:13 pm

More light may be shed on this business at the public meeting on Wed 24th Aug in the ACC Colonel Light Room. Get there early, there aren't a lot of seats. I'm not sure of the time, and I can't find the meeting on ACC's website, sorry. Details from ACC 8203 7203.
There will be about 30 speakers, 5 minutes each. Word is that Makris has put up some speakers to boost his company's pseudo-proposal (nice phrase Chris) for the LeCornu site.

It should be interesting, at least.

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#14 Post by Algernon » Tue Aug 16, 2005 6:38 pm

Holding the meeting in the Colonel Light room basically means "no public" :lol: If there's 30 speakers, they'll take up half the pulic seating alone.

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#15 Post by stumpjumper » Tue Aug 16, 2005 9:14 pm

Let's hope the small crowd includes a few journalists of independent mind who can report for a wider audience.

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