Republic is released
21 April 2017
Welcome to Republic. Tomorrow at 10am, the first tower of Canberra’s largest mixed-use precinct will go to market. For the first time, the public will get to see our brand new display suite, located at Wayfarer at 120 Eastern Valley Way, Belconnen. It is open from 10-4 every day and you can try out the new app, take home a brochure and look through floor plans with our best agents.
GEOCON purchased the land for Republic (Section 200) in June 2015 at a cost of $22.1 million, which was well above market expectations. And now, we can safely say that Republic will be different to anything else in Canberra. As Nick Georgalis said at the media event today, ‘This is not just a single development, it is an entire precinct.’
On this 1.6-hectare site and across 5 buildings, GEOCON will be delivering about 1300 apartments, 10,000m2 of retail and commercial space, and a 130-room hotel under the Abode Hotel banner. The precinct will also be home to a live performance theatre, an urban park and fantastic public spaces, bars, restaurants and cafes. It will be the largest precinct of its type in Canberra, a city within a city, and as Mr Georgalis said, ‘it brings us a step closer to the realisation of Canberra as a vibrant, sophisticated metropolis.’
At a value of $700 million dollars, Republic will be the largest investment in Canberra since Canberra Airport, and before that new Parliament House. It will employ 1000 people over the life of the construction and support around a hundred permanent jobs on completion in the hotel and other retail offerings.
Republic is a critical piece in the evolution of Belconnen from a windswept satellite suburban centre that turns into a ghost town after 5pm to a thriving master-planned residential and entertainment hub where people will live, work and play. Belconnen is now 50 years old. Only in the last couple of years has it really been considered a vibrant precinct where people want to visit after the sun goes down. This development will provide the vibrancy that will push Belconnen further along to becoming an entertainment destination. The town centre won’t empty at 5pm when the large government departments close. Instead, you’ll get an inflow of people heading home and releasing people onto the streets during the evening.
‘It’s all part of the ‘master plan’ because GEOCON developments are not about simply putting up apartments. We select outstanding locations, and we engage world-leading design partners like Fender Katsalidis Architects, OCULUS Urban Design and artists like The Aston Shuffle who have curated the audio environment for the development. They are world-class partners who help bring our vision to reality. This combination of skill and our extraordinary technical expertise in-house enables us to deliver unparalleled amenities at an affordable price, and, make no mistake, we are committed to improving housing affordability in Canberra. In Republic, 1BR units are priced from $282,900 and 2BR from $419,900. That’s around 15 percent less than anything comparable in the market, without even considering the precinct amenities unique to Republic.’
‘So, tomorrow we open this fantastic gallery to the public and Republic officially goes to market. The interest we’ve already had in Republic tells us that we’ll sell out Tower 1 in a couple of months and we are on track to start construction in October this year. That’s not really surprising when you consider that two-thirds of this Tower’s units are north-facing with views over Lake Ginninderra.’
Demand for apartments is strong in Canberra and it’s only going to get stronger as the population increases by 25,000 over the next three years.
‘There is no “oversupply” of apartments. What people are seeing on the changing horizon of Canberra is already snapped up. APRA makes sure developers have 70% of the units sold before they can get finance for a development. Let me give you a concrete example of demand in action. GEOCON accounts for almost a third of the apartment market in the ACT. We were selling, on average, around 350 units a year. Last year we sold 500 units. This year we thought we’d sell 700, and it’s only April and we’ve already sold 400. Our Midnight development in Braddon was released in January this year and we’ve already sold 180 out of 230 apartments. Most our buyers, of which 75% are live in owner occupiers, are looking for value for money without a compromise on amenity and lifestyle. They are increasingly attracted to higher density mixed use precincts and this is why we are delivering Republic.’