Historic redevelopment of old RAH site to transform Adelaide’s East End
The redevelopment is estimated to generate generate $7.5 billion of economic activity, more than $1 billion in private investment, as well as 1000 jobs per annum during construction and 2,900 jobs on site when finished.
The state government is poised to enter into exclusive negotiations with the preferred proponents – a consortium of South Australian property group Commercial & General and infrastructure and property company John Holland.
The state government will also undertake an extensive community engagement process to ensure all South Australians to have their say about how this site is transformed into a world class precinct.
Importantly, 70 per cent of the redeveloped site will be publicly accessible, compared with the only 38 per cent currently open to public use. As Premier Jay Weatherill noted, “One of the most important elements of this project has always been to reclaim a substantial part of the old hospital site for open space and to open up a part of the city which is presently almost entirely inaccessible to the general public.”
The proposed old Royal Adelaide Hospital redevelopment will feature four distinct yet intertwined quarters:
- a Garden Quarter featuring more than two hectares of land transferred to the Adelaide Botanic Gardens
- a University and Innovation Quarter including multiple universities collaborating with incubators, start-ups, financiers, businesses and social organisations
- a Culture and Tourism Quarter strengthening Adelaide’s reputation as a global cultural and tourism destination
- a Living Quarter catering for vibrant, student-centred facilities through to aged-care accommodation.
The Garden Quarter will take up almost a third of the seven hectare site, involving the demolition of the unsightly East Wing, with the land transferred to the Adelaide Botanic Gardens. The proposal would increase the size of the botanic gardens lake and include a new entry statement.
The University and Innovation Quarter will contain a world-class research centre – a state-of-the-art campus linking the education sector with technology leaders, start-ups, businesses, entrepreneurs and social organisations.
The University of Adelaide is proposing to partner with developers on an Adelaide Innovation Accelerator, where start-ups, early-stage firms, established businesses, researchers and students could interact.
The University of South Australia is considering a number of clustered initiatives, including a Global Centre for Carbon Neutral Cities, stimulating green jobs and generating tourism income from the rapidly growing green conference sector; and a Creative Digital Industries Innovation Hub – a high-tech lab linking to the new CBD high school to help channel the next generation of young people into the industry sectors of the future.
International university Carnegie Mellon may also relocate into the heritage McEwin Building.
The Culture and Tourism Quarter will reuse heritage-listed buildings on North Terrace. A new 5-star hotel is also envisaged as part of the project, along with new public spaces including a North Terrace plaza, laneways and a European-style piazza.
The Living Quarter will cater for all generations, including a mix of leasehold apartments, shared student accommodation and a state-of-the-art aged care facility. It will feature approximately 1080 apartments, including 150 affordable student dwellings and 60 supported residential care dwellings.
The old Royal Adelaide Hospital site has also been identified as a possible location for a new South Australian cultural institution, which is being investigated by a Steering Group.
Once completed, more than 9300 people a day will work, visit or live in the precinct, with access to the area facilitated by the planned North Terrace tram line extension: “The government’s $55 million budget investment to deliver the AdeLINK tram extension will provide a vital link to this East End site, which will also contain a network of laneways and shared use paths linking to surrounding precincts,” noted Housing and Urban Development Minister, Stephen Mullighan.
The government’s investment into the old RAH site of approximately $200 million will mainly be used for demolition, remediation and site activation.