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Artist render of Forestville featuring a greenhouse-style structure with slanted roofs and a road in the foreground lined with greenery and parked cars.

The former Le Cornu site at Forestville will be transformed into a dynamic food-orientated retail and residential community complete with South Australia’s first rooftop urban farm, where fresh local produce will be used to bring residents and visitors together in a celebration of community.

Known as Locale, the $250 million project will deliver one of the most innovative master plans created in Adelaide, combining a bustling market square with retail and services, outdoor dining and play spaces, a Green Urban School, short-stay accommodation and apartment and townhouse living. The result - a new heart for the city’s south-west corner.

A consortium - led by South Australian independent retail group Commercial Retail Group (owners and operators of Frewville and Pasadena Foodland) with national property developer Peet Limited and local developer Buildtec - will bring the long-dormant site back to life after being named the successful developers.

Artist render of modern apartments lined with greenery and a road in the foreground.

Images are for illustrative purposes only and are not indicative of final concepts

As part of the bold reimagining of this iconic city-fringe parcel, the development’s Anzac Highway frontage will be fully activated to serve as a visual gateway to the precinct, while Leader Street and Maple Avenue will play key roles in both connectivity and access and will come alive with residential and retail opportunities.

Key features of the development include:

  • A Market Square with Locale Store (full line supermarket), open-air cafes, eateries and specialist retailers including a Flower Bar and Wellbeing Centre/Day Spa
  • Approximately 199 high-quality apartments and 106 townhouses, developed by Peet Limited and Buildtec, providing opportunities across varying life stages and lifestyles
  • Short-stay apartments to cater for tourism, corporate & wellbeing sectors
  • Inc operated Urban Green School, where students will learn about sustainable food production, urban farming and business skills. (250 Urban Green School placements and a minimum 50 apprenticeship and traineeship places during first 3 years)
  • A rooftop Urban Farm practicing regenerative agriculture and tended by students from the Urban Green School
  • 30% open and green space – approximately half of which will be 24/7 publicly accessible land across reserves, the market square and high-quality public realm, and the other half open space via rooftop activations including the Urban Farm.
  • An estimated 900 direct and indirect jobs during construction, plus 500 ongoing jobs across retail, services, education and hospitality.

“This project is transformative,” Minister of Housing and Urban Development Nick Champion said. “It will be the catalyst for urban regeneration and set the tone for future development and investment in the south-west corner of Adelaide.

“It future-proofs the community because its design recognises and addresses our changing climate, supports urban infill growth adjacent to world renowned Park Lands and transport links at Goodwood and Adelaide Showground, and services the State’s increasing need for quality housing.”

Renewal SA General Manager Major Projects and Pipeline, Tony Cole said the bold new development would influence the future liveability of the city and demonstrated the power of combining local knowledge and quality business partnerships across government and private enterprise for the betterment of the community.

“We want to create a city that we can be proud of and while this is a relatively small site, by thinking big the Locale consortium will deliver something significant for Forestville and the wider community,” Mr Cole said.

Commercial Retail Group Director Spero Chapley said his team has a long-term commitment to the project as developer and owner/operator of The Market Square with a vision to create an experience unrivalled in Australia.

“This will be a truly dynamic, inclusive community where people can live, work, socialise, shop, eat and learn, but most importantly connect,” Mr Chapley said.

“We have drawn inspiration from the small, bustling European towns where the homes, squares and markets, and their scents, colour, sounds and architecture entice you to linger and explore with a new experience around every corner.

“South Australia is known for its exceptional food and beverage experiences and the unique offerings of the rooftop Urban Farm and the high-quality eateries serving its locally grown produce will no doubt be a drawcard for local, interstate and international visitors.”

Interior of a modern supermarket.

Images are for illustrative purposes only and are not indicative of final concepts

Peet Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Brendan Gore said Forestville builds on the longstanding partnership between Peet and Renewal SA, which has produced the award-winning Lightsview community and its latest venture, Fort Largs, which is currently under construction.

“We’ve created a master plan at Forestville that recognises the need to bring a high-quality of local amenity to support the new form of higher density residential development, so it’s a place where people want to live, but also work and socialise,” he said.

Buildtec Managing Director Anthony Carrocci said while Locale will be a 100% new build, the style of the development will be designed to integrate with the surrounding industrial buildings and adjoining residences, enhancing the broader suburb of Forestville and the Adelaide metro area more widely.

“The new dwellings will be designed to identify with the context and surrounding character of the neighbourhood, while transitioning the site into a quality, diverse and sustainable residential address,” Mr Carrocci said.

Mr Chapley said the consortium was committed to ensuring the community has opportunities to help refine and further shape the development plans through open days, events and place activations, social media engagement and a dedicated website featuring the latest news.

“As the name Locale suggests, we want this space to be a place for the people… a place where something special happens,” he said.

Stage 1 of construction, which will include the Market Square, Urban Farm and Townhouses is expected to begin in 2024. With the first residents to move in late 2025 and Market Square opening late 2026. Full project completion is forecast for 2029.

He said orientation of the master plan and ease of access through the site would allow for integration into any nearby future development.

Artist render of Forestville featuring a greenhouse-style structure with slanted roofs and a road in the foreground lined with greenery, parked cars and pedestrians.

Images are for illustrative purposes only and are not indicative of final concepts

LOCALE MASTER PLAN

MARKET SQUARE

Plans reveal a piazza-style Market Square framed by eateries that will become a place to gather for an ongoing stream of food activations and events such as the Fringe Festival and Tasting Australia.

Also, among the square’s attractions, will be the Locale Store – a quality food outlet owned and operated by the Commercial Retail Group’s Adelaide’s Finest Supermarkets. It will incorporate a specialist butcher, The Wharf (Seafood and Eatery), artisan bakery, and be a showcase of South Australian produce, producers, growers, farmers, fishers and food manufacturers.

Fresh and organic produce from a rooftop Urban Farm will also be sold in the Locale Store and feature on the menus of the cafes, restaurants and eateries lining the Market Square.

A full basement carpark with more than 500 spaces will be built to cater for visitors.

URBAN FARM + GREEN SCHOOL

The first of its kind in South Australia, the Urban Farm will practice regenerative agriculture and be open for use by the community. A convention centre / restaurant will anchor the rooftop space and is expected to host events including expos, conferences, cooking classes, specialist chef residencies, weddings, corporate retreats and garden workshops. The consortium will also explore opportunities for sharing Kaurna language, stories, culture and traditional food practices in the space.

The farm will act as a unique campus for disadvantaged students who will receive a hands-on, real-world education in climate justice, food systems, agriculture, horticulture, sustainability, and business at an Urban Green School operated by Adelaide-based alternative education provider Youth Inc. The Forestville campus will educate a minimum of 250 students during the first 3 years.

HOUSING + OPEN SPACE

Four high-quality apartment buildings of approximately five storeys* will occupy the centre of the development, featuring a range of one, two and three-bedroom apartments. These homes will be surrounded by extensive open space, with a central park running the width of the development from Maple Avenue to Leader Street. This green area will not only provide room to relax and socialise but act as a convenient pedestrian link through the precinct to the City, Park Lands and Goodwood and Adelaide Showground railway stations. In total there will be 30% public open space.

A further two apartment buildings will be located at the western end of the development, including short-stay offerings on the upper levels of an eight-storey gateway building on the corner of Anzac Highway and Leader Street. This building will overlook and add vibrancy to the Market Square, while a variety of two-and-three-storey townhouses will flow across the eastern end of the 3.6ha site to best integrate with density in neighbouring streets. These townhouses will include generous open plan living and home offices to support small business operators, consultants and employees with the flexibility to work from home.

Affordable housing options (15% of the total offering) will be incorporated into both the apartment buildings and townhouse precinct at Forestville, drawing on the collective experience of both Peet Limited and Buildtec, which have delivered more than 1,000 affordable purchase and rental dwellings across Adelaide.

The apartment towers and townhouses will have their own dedicated parking.

Modern apartments on either side of the frame with greenery and pathway running down the middle.

Images are for illustrative purposes only and are not indicative of final concepts

JOBS + INVESTMENT

An estimated 900 direct and indirect jobs will be created during construction, while ongoing employment will be secured for around 500 workers across retail, services, education and hospitality including traditional trades such as bakers, chefs, butchers, fishmongers and florists.

A further 50-plus apprenticeship and traineeship places will be on offer across various facets of the development in the first 3 years from project completion via an agreement with TAFE SA. Employment opportunities will also be available through Renewal SA’s Works Program.

ENVIRONMENT

The development also delivers a commitment to world-class, leading environmental practices through the adoption of regenerative sustainability and vertical and horizontal green infrastructure to enhance biodiversity. Trains, trams and buses within easy walking distance will support active travel modes such as share cars and e-bikes or scooters.

Water demands from the public open spaces and Urban Farm will be serviced, where possible, by harvested and re-used stormwater, while the entire development will boast a minimum 5 Star Green Star rating.

Notes

*The height of the apartment buildings will be subject to the final master plan and planning approval.

SITE HISTORY

First Nations

Land of the Kaurna people

1921

Coach builder TJ Richards and Sons opens a factory on the site for automotive manufacturing

World War II

TJ Richard and Sons swing into wartime production and become Richards Industries. Its factory is expanded and re-tooled to manufacture military vehicles and aircraft components, weapons parts, and ammunition including land mines

1950-1960s

Chrysler factory

1974

Le Cornu furniture store opens

October 2016

Le Cornu furniture store closes

2017

German hypermarket Kaufland purchases the site, announcing plans to build a flagship store

January 2020

Kaufland announces its exit from the Australian market without construction on the Forestville site

October 2020

Renewal SA acquires site on behalf of the South Australian Government

2021

Expressions of Interest sought for the redevelopment of the site

2022

Locale consortium of Commercial Retail Group, Peet Limited and Buildtec named successful Proponent.

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