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Aerial view of the intersection of North Terrace and Frome Road, featuring Lot Fourteen and other buildings, roads, driving cars, and natural open public space with extensive tree plantings.

Following extensive negotiations, the state government carefully considered John Holland and Commercial & General’s final offer for redevelopment of the former Royal Adelaide Hospital site and decided to retain all elements of the project in public hands.

After careful consideration, the joint venture’s final offer was rejected by the government because, on balance, it did not represent the best value for South Australian taxpayers. The government will consider the purchase of intellectual property from the preferred proponent, as agreed under exclusivity arrangements.

The state government will adopt the same approach as that used for successful projects such as Bowden and Tonsley at the prominent North Terrace site, with full control over each stage of the project to remain with the public.

“By managing the project directly we can also emulate our award-winning redevelopments at Bowden and Tonsley where we have partnered with multiple local developers.” – Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, The Hon Stephen Mullighan, MP

The decision paves the way to realise the government’s vision for a mixed-use development including:

  • returning more than two hectares (30 per cent) of the site to the Adelaide Botanic Garden
  • opening up 70 per cent of the site to the public
  • developing educational, research and cultural facilities
  • attracting commercial tenancies
  • incorporating appropriate residential accommodation.

The announcement marks a major step in delivering the redevelopment with the state government to immediately commence:

  • the procurement of a landscape architect to design the integration of the two hectares into the Adelaide Botanic Garden
  • a registration of interest (ROI) for a new, minimum 5-star hotel (ROI opened 22/09/2017)
  • opening expressions of interest (EOI) for new long-term uses for the retained heritage buildings
  • launching an international search for a world-class team to design the proposed Adelaide Contemporary gallery project.

The size and scale of planned residential development on the site will be substantially reduced. The private leaseholds, proposed by the private developers, have been removed and instead there will be a focus on student accommodation, aged care living and short-term accommodation.

A residential component is important to maintaining day and night activity on the site, replacing the people lost by the relocation of the hospital, and helping to grow and sustain economic activity in the East End.

Work has already begun on the demolition and activation of the old hospital, including lighting installations on the heritage buildings along North Terrace.

Hoardings have also been erected around the East Wing building, which will be one of the first to be demolished when works start within weeks.

The government is also introducing a range of measures to encourage the reuse of old buildings, particularly in the CBD.

“These measures provide financial incentives as well as certainty and consistency for owners and investors across South Australia.” – Minister for Planning, The Hon John Rau

A new Minister’s Specification will reduce the mandatory building performance standards for existing buildings from 79 under the National Construction Code to 24.

This performance based red tape reduction, which will not compromise safety standards, but will potentially save owners and investors hundreds of thousands of dollars in upgrading costs.

The government will use these new performance based standards in the adaptive re-use of buildings on the former Royal Adelaide Hospital site, as a demonstration project.

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