The City of Unley will take a lead role in the rejuvenation of Unley Road with high hopes a potential redevelopment of the Council's Civic Complex will spark interest in developing other potential sites in the Unley Central Precinct.
Unley Mayor Lachlan Clyne said the landmark project would aim to be a model for good urban design and would include a mixed-use facility providing new community and civic facilities, commercial, and residential dwellings.
“This is a great site and a great opportunity to take a lead role in the revitalisation of the Unley Central Precinct. More residents in the area will be great for business and will help to reinvigorate the precinct,” Mr Clyne said.
"A redevelopment will preserve our heritage, keep the Village Green yet bring modern higher density living into the heart of our City.
"This is a winning idea because for every apartment constructed we reduce pressure on the need to demolish and subdivide our existing heritage suburbs.
"The apartments will enable our aging population to downsize without moving out of the area and our first home buyers to enter the market in the community they grew up in," he said.
The City has always planned for a long-term vision to revitalise the heart of Unley by generating new activity in the precinct and providing more opportunity for residential living. This vision has recently been outlined in more detail in the Unley Central Precinct Plan.
“During the preparation of the Unley Central Precinct Plan and Development Plan Amendment, we needed to consider how, and where, we could accommodate the growing population through higher density living. The Unley Civic Complex is a logical site for that to occur as part of the broader Unley Central Vitalisation project. By focusing on specific areas for higher density living, a balance can be achieved between the character areas of Unley and new housing options,” said Mr Clyne.
During the past 50 years, Council has astutely managed a property acquisition strategy that has resulted in it owning almost the entire city block around the Civic Complex, bounded by Unley Road, Edmund Avenue and Trimmer and Oxford Terraces.
Council has committed to a full investigation and will seek to have the following components incorporated into a redeveloped Civic Complex:
- New residential development – up to 150 apartments
- Improved civic and community facilities - possibly an exhibition space to be used for art or expanded museum exhibitions
- Dramatic increase in car parking (associated basement car parking)
- New commercial office space
- Retention and possible expansion of the popular Village Green
Mr Clyne said that to be genuinely transformational, the new complex would need to deliver a minimum 100 new dwellings into the Unley Central Precinct.
“Additional residents will help enliven the neighbourhood, improve the patronage and sustainability of existing small businesses, and help to encourage further business and service activity in the area,” Mr Clyne said.
Under the plan, historical features would be retained including the Town Hall, former Council offices and current museum building all of which are Local Heritage listed.
Mr Clyne said the Council would now develop a strategy for communicating its vision and seek feedback from the broader community.
“When Council has agreed, in broad terms, on the composition of the redeveloped complex, we will undertake a comprehensive community engagement process.
"I back a redevelopment of this site 100 per cent and am excited about hearing our community’s ideas as they engage in the process," he said.
Funds have been allocated in the 2016/17 Budget to start the investigations into the project.
A report will be presented to Council in November 2016 outlining a proposed way forward.
For more information visit the Civic Complex Redevelopment page.
Erin Thompson, City of Unley Communications Officer, 0420 507 599