Doma Group to transform Dickson Motor Vehicle Registry site on Northbourne Avenue

A striking multi-building precinct is slated for the Dickson Motor Vehicle Registry site as part of the continued renewal of the Northbourne Avenue corridor.

Canberra’s Doma Group has been chosen to develop the 16,000-square-metre slice of land, which fronts Challis Street and backs on to the city’s leading thoroughfare.

The winning proposal could cost up to $150 million to complete and will encompass four buildings, including a six-storey tower with 13,000 square metres of office space.

The building will be leased back to the ACT government and house more than 1000 ACT public servants. It will also include an Access Canberra shopfront and underground parking.

The other trio of buildings will house about 280 new apartments, retail outlets and commercial space.

The plans also include a 90-place childcare centre to service the new offices and surrounding area, plus public open spaces.

Minister for urban renewal Mick Gentleman said the proposed redevelopment of the site, designed by architectural firm Bates Smart, was a significant step in the renewal of the Northbourne Avenue corridor.

“Doma’s proposal offers an elegant scheme that achieves a balance between individual building functions and a sense of open public space,” he said.

“The layout of the buildings, the use of open spaces and the integration of ground floor retail and services provides excellent cross-site connectivity between the Dickson group centre, light rail and the new Dickson bus interchange.

“Importantly, it also provides a high-quality government office building with good workplace planning characteristics.”

The ACT government first called for registrations of interest from businesses to develop the site in February 2016.

Doma Group, which won the Property Council of Australia’s ACT development of the year award on Tuesday for Barton’s Little National Hotel, was among six short-listed groups vying for the chance to redevelop the land.

The existing motor vehicle registry will be replaced by a new inspection station at Hume, due to open mid-this year.

It is among four ageing commercial buildings the ACT government is selling as part of the asset recycling scheme, which will help fund the first stage of Canberra’s light rail network.

The new government office building is due to be finished and occupied by early 2020.

Doma Group’s general manager of development Gavin Edgar said construction of the project could begin as early as next year and would be carried out in two stages.

“[On Thursday] the chief minister…challenged developers to deliver high quality designs along the Northbourne Avenue corridor and we think our masterplan and design response rise to that challenge,” he said.

As published on 07/04/17, full article here