The Canberra District Rugby League Football Club plans to demolish the Braddon Club – which is located on Cooyong Street, between Donaldson and Torrens Streets – and build a residential/commercial development of up to seven storeys.
From the 1920s until 1998 the site was part of the Northbourne Oval. In 1998 the Territory wrote off unpaid rents, excised the Braddon Club site from the oval, and granted it to the ACT Leagues Club for five cents per year on condition that it be used only for the purposes of a club with ancillary auditorium and office uses. In 2006 the lease was sold to the Canberra District Rugby League Football Club (CDRL) for $420,000. In 2008 it was re-zoned from Restricted Access Recreation to Commercial.
In 2010 ACTPLA determined that the lease was “concessional” (i.e. less than market value). CDRL’s appeal to ACAT was rejected, but CDRL still maintains that the lease was not concessional. It estimates that it could sell the current lease for $305,000, but if the concessional status was removed it could sell it for $620,000. If the concessional status is removed, then arguably CDRL stands to make a windfall gain of $315,000 – and Canberra’s ratepayers stand to suffer a $315,000 loss – unless CDRL pays for the increased value of the lease. But CDRL claims that payment of the additional value would represent a ‘windfall for the ACT Government’.
The revenue of up to $238,000 from the site’s 170 car parking spaces represents an annual return on investment of around 50%. Nevertheless CDRL claims that Braddon Club is not financially viable, and has closed it.
The main options for the site are:
A. Club: Retain the site as a club with ancillary auditorium and office uses; buildings limited to 1,900 sq m gross floor area and offices limited to 450 sq m; with paving, trees, landscaping, lighting and car parking.
B. Residential/Commercial: Commercial car parking and/or up to:
seven storeys; 161 multi-unit housing units; 161 serviced apartment and hotel units; 2,500 square metres of office space; 400 square metres of community activity centre and health facility; 200 sq m drink establishment; 500 square metres, indoor entertainment facility; 500 square metres, indoor recreation facility, 500 square metres restaurant; 1,700 square meters shop including up to 300 square metres per supermarket or shop selling food.
C. Recreation: Return the site to uses such as indoor recreation facility, aquatic recreation facility, car park, child care centre, club, communications facility, motel, community activity centre, outdoor recreation facility, parkland, playing field, educational establishment, guest house or hotel.
D. Urban Open Space: Re-zone the site for uses such as aquatic recreation facility, municipal depot, community activity centre, outdoor recreation facility, parkland, playing field.
E. Community Facilities: Re-zone the site for uses such as business agency, office, child care centre, outdoor recreation facility, community activity centre, parkland, community theatre, place of worship, public agency, cultural facility, residential care accommodation, retirement village, educational establishment, emergency services facility, health facility, supportive housing, hospital or indoor recreation facility.
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