Belconnen Lakeshore land release update

In 2021, the Suburban Land Agency released land for sale and development in Belconnen Town Centre through a two-stage tender process. The Belconnen Lakeshore land release is made up of The Circus Sites Precinct together with the Former Belconnen Water Police site (Block 29, Section 149 Belconnen) at Emu Inlet Waterfront. The first stage, a Request for Proposal (RFP), was released to the market on 17 June 2021 and closed on 7 October 2021.

We would now like to provide updates on the status of the tender:

  • Multiple RFP responses were received from local development teams.
  • The RFP sought design and development proposals in response to the Place Design Brief, and required submissions to include Intended and Required Development Outcomes and achieve minimum 5 star Greenstar Buildings rating.  The design response was a priority in the RFP submission evaluation with a weighting of 50 percent as part of weighted assessment criteria that included financial offer, development team experience and capacity criteria.  
  • The RFP Evaluation was completed in late February 2022 and participating proponents have been advised if they are progressing to stage 2 Request for Tenders (RFT). 
  • The SLA Project Team and Evaluation Team were pleased with the effort and thought put into preparing design responses. The submissions included varied and interesting design proposals in response to the requirements of the RFP. 
  • All proponents responded to the Place Design Brief and included commitments to undertaking public engagement during the design and development process. All submissions proposed improving public spaces around the sites and connection between Lathlain Street and Emu Bank and to the Emu Inlet park and proposed new public spaces within the land release precincts. 
  • The best proposals offered:
    • an activated waterfront location with development sympathetic and integrated with the existing park and its landscape.  
    • Provision of green, connected and activated public spaces within the Circus sites precinct.  
  • SLA is currently finalising stage 2 RFT documentation and are planning to release the RFT in May to the selected tenderers invited to participate in the stage 2 RFT.
  • For business confidentiality reasons as this is an on-going sales process, we will only be able to identify the winning tenderer after the two-stage tender process has concluded. 

The RFT currently being finalised will include:

  1. More detailed project delivery requirements that tenderers will be required to address in addition to the Place Design Brief. 
  2. More detailed development and design information including on-site and off-site public realm improvements to be included in the sale and development of the land.
  3. A requirement to respond to how the liveability of apartments will be addressed with a view to achieving improved liveability outcomes.  This was a recommendation of the Evaluation Team when as considering Proponents invited to participate in the second stage of the sales process.

Background on the Place Design Brief 

Prior to the release of Belconnen Lakeshore, a Place Design Brief was prepared with input from the community and stakeholders. The brief describes the community’s aspirations for the land release sites and including Site / Precinct Specific Objectives (about the sites use/experience), a Community Place Aspirations Plan and identifies criteria for Successful Development Outcomes.

The Place Design Brief and detailed information on the place planning engagement undertaken is available on the ACT Government’s YourSay website at https://yoursayconversations.act.gov.au/belconnen-place-planning.