Northbourne Avenue sale could help transform Canberra corridor
31 March 2016 Rachel Packham
The sale of a huge slice of prime real estate on Northbourne Avenue could help transform the city’s major corridor into a vibrant thoroughfare.
The 6270 square metre site, which has a price tag of $20 million-plus, has been approved for commercial and multi-unit residential use and most of the interested parties are looking at redeveloping the block for apartment accommodation.
Insurance Australia Group will list number 92 Northbourne Avenue for sale via expressions of interest through CBRE agents Andrew Stewart and Mark Nicholls.
Mr Stewart said the property, which will hit the market in early April, has already attracted strong interest.
A 6270 square metre site at 92 Northbourne Avenue, Braddon, could potentially be transformed into residential accommodation. Photo: Supplied.
A site on the corner of Northbourne and Macarthur avenues is also set to be redeveloped into mixed-use precinct, Midtown, which will include residential units and a 176-room Mantra Hotel.
Mr Stewart said the building at 92 Northbourne Avenue was originally constructed in 1971 for the NRMA.
The insurance company occupies two of the six floors, however it will only take a short lease back.
Mr Stewart said buyers were keen to capitalise on the property’s vacant possession.
“About 10 per cent of buyers are talking about keeping the building as it is and the rest are talking about demolishing the property,” Mr Stewart said.
“It’s a good structure but keeping it would limit the yield that you could achieve.”
The site offers three combined blocks with street frontage onto Northbourne Avenue, Elouera Street and Mort Street.
Mr Stewart said sites of this scale in such a prominent location rarely hit the market.
“They don’t come up that often and that’s why this one has garnered a fair bit of interest,” he said.
A triple street frontage is also a rare offering on Northbourne Avenue, according to Mr Stewart.
The existing structure is a six-storey office building with a basement and Mr Stewart said the broad purpose clause was appealing to potential buyers.
“One of the main benefits is that all the issues with lease variation have been dealt with,” Mr Stewart said.
“Developers don’t have to have long, lengthy discussions with the government to get the purpose clause varied.”
About 95 per cent of potential buyers have expressed interest in transforming the site into residential apartments.
“Braddon is a prized and sought-after location and provides good access to the ANU,” Mr Stewart said.
“It might suit student accommodation or students who don’t want to live on campus.”
Other factors that make the site suitable for residential accommodation include its ability to capture natural light from its triple street frontage, as well as sweeping views towards the surrounding mountains.
It is also situated directly adjacent to a proposed light rail stop.
The site will officially hit the market on Saturday, April 2, and expressions of interest close on Thursday, May 5.
Date: 26 March 2016