The City of Unley has announced an ambitious development opportunity that will be seen as setting the bar for good high rise development.
The area known as Unley Central has been a focus of Council during my time on Council. The precinct has been the subject of a very thorough planning amendment exercise.
Unley Central is a precinct previously a precinct whose development plan had no height limits. It has morphed into a planning zone with a height limit of 9 stories. A height limit that tapered down toward neighbouring residential areas to minimize any impact on those areas. It was much more than that though. We engaged with our community and with their help at a number of working public forums we designed an updated development plan that met ours and our communities’ perception of what good development there would be.
I wrote many a blog post on this back then. If you want to refresh your memory just log onto my website and type “Unley Central” into the search box.
Optage Pty Ltd, headed by local business person Patrick Ho, is the project owner and operator.
They will work in conjunction with Catcorp Pty Ltd headed by Anthony Catinari. Another Unley local. They will seek development approval under the parameters of the current development plan.
Council’s contribution is one of facilitating the project as a result of our strategic landholding. We have long held the Memorial Carpark. More recently we purchased the Bazaar site from Australia Post when they wanted to liquidate their holding. A purchase that enabled us to be in a strategic position to influence any future development on the site.
Once we can be satisfied that the development has obtained approval from the State Commission Assessment Panel under the current Development Plan we can sell the Barzaar property to Optage. We have a Deed of Development with Optage that provides a stronger influence over the extent and style of development than we would have by selling the land to the highest bidder.
Achievements such as limiting the height to 9 stories as previously noted. And to a limited portion of the overall site, unlike other recent developments. Achievements such as providing 15% tree canopy cover, u from the 7% that exists now. Achievements likewise of not only saving the heritage-listed building on the corner of Unley Road and Arthur Street but sympathetically blending the development around it.
The end result therefore will see as Unley Central setting the bar for good high-rise development. A development by the way that might not physically commence before 2022.