Geocon Plans Canberra Retail, Commercial Hub


Property developer Geocon has revealed plans for a retail and commercial hub in Canberra, less than a week after it announced a financing deal with international investment bank Goldman Sachs.

The Canberra-focused developer said the commercial hub, “Urban at Republic”, will take up 6,500sq m of the 1-hectare site in Belconnen and “set the benchmark for placemaking in Canberra”.

The financing boost by Goldman Sachs will fast-track the development, reducing the estimated construction time by more than two-thirds. Stages one and two of the four-building precinct includes the commercial and retail hub, which is set to be complete by 2021.

Grocon says it has secured lease and sales deals for more than 50 per cent of commercial space in the precinct.

Related: Morris Property Plans $500m Development in Canberra

Geocon has announced plans for 6500sq m 
of retail and commercial space as part of its Republic precinct in Belconnen.
Geocon has announced plans for 6500sq m of retail and commercial space as part of its Republic precinct in Belconnen.

Designed by architecture firm Fender Katsalidis, the space will house an anchor supermarket, a mix of retailers, restaurants and bars and be complemented by “activated” internal laneways, “green” stairs as well as landscaped streets and a bicycle hub.

“It will have the look and feel of Melbourne’s inner-city café culture crossed with a London high street and a Parisian plaza,” Geocon director of commercial sales and leasing Mark Nicholls said.

Nicholls said that business operators will benefit from the 1,200-plus apartments and the Abode-branded 135-room hotel on the site. No major leasing deals have been announced.

The hub will be located at the axis between the Belconnen Town Centre and the University of Canberra, Lake Ginninderra and the government office precinct.

Geocon has more than $70 million worth of commercial space for sale in projects across the ACT.

“Geocon’s commercial business will soon be responsible for developing around $200 million worth of commercial stock for sale or lease to businesses who wish to call Canberra home,” Nicholls said.

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