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More than 300 apartments and townhouses as well as a rooftop “urban farm” will be built as part of a $250 million market square development planned for the former Le Cornu site in Forestville.

The state government today unveiled its long-awaited master plan for the sprawling 3.6-hectare plot on the corner of Anzac Highway and Leader Street in Adelaide’s inner south, which has been vacant since October 2016, when furniture store Le Cornu ended its operations in South Australia. .

The new $250 million plan for the site, located 3.5 km southwest of the CBD, includes 199 apartments, 106 townhouses as well as short-term tourism apartments, with the development built around a marketplace with a supermarket, outdoor cafes and specialist retailers.

Appointed Venuethe development will comprise 30% green and open space, of which just under half will be accessible to the public 24/7, while the other half will come from “rooftop activations”, including a rooftop urban farm.

A model of the open green space that will be available in the new Forestville development. Image: SA Renewal

Plans have also been drawn up for a “green urban school” to be set up on site, accommodating around 250 disadvantaged students in grades 11 and 12.

The proposal was developed by a development consortium including local developer Buildtec, residential developer WA Peet and the Chapley Family’s commercial retail group – operators of Pasadena and Frewville Foodland stores.

The development will include over 300 apartments and townhouses. Image: SA Renewal

Construction in Forestville, initially scheduled for “end of 2022/beginning of 2023”, has now been postponed to 2024.

The project is not expected to be completed before 2029.

Commercial Retail Group director Spero Chapley did not give details on the expected starting price for Venue apartments, but said the development would offer a range of starting prices.

“At this stage we are not ready to talk about pricing, but what we can say is that through the design and master plan there is an array of residential pricing and options,” said he told reporters.

“We want to talk to first-time buyers to those retiring. We really want to create options for the community.

Renewal SA’s selection criteria included a minimum requirement that 15% of apartments built on site be classified as affordable.

Four five-storey apartment buildings, subject to approval, are planned to occupy the center of the development, while a number of two- and three-storey townhouses will occupy the east end of the development.

An eight-storey “gateway” building will be located on the west corner of the site, along with two other apartment buildings.

Spero Chapley with Planning Minister Nick Champion outside the vacant Forestville site. Photo: Tony Lewis/InDaily

But Chapley said the piazza-style market square was “at the heart” of the development.

“We seek to create a real [orientated] and residential development here, promoting and talking about local products, growers and makers,” he said.

“It’s a showcase site.

Chapley is the president of the educational organization YouthInc which will operate the “Green Urban School” slated for construction in the development district.

The school will offer “the equivalent of a Grade 11 and 12 VET and SACE curriculum” to students aged 17 to 24, Chapley said.

The students will also operate a rooftop urban farm which forms part of the green space planned for the site.

Image: SA Renewal

“The green school will be all about learning and discussing sustainability, climate justice, agriculture and so on,” he said.

“We are really excited, it will be a first for Australia.

“It’s really about getting disengaged South Australians aged 17 to 24… an understanding of themselves, an understanding of jobs and an awareness of their future.”

Planning Minister Nick Champion said the overall project would create 900 jobs during construction and 500 permanent jobs when completed.

The market place will be “at the heart” of Forestville’s development. Image: SA Renewal

Renewal SA bought the vacant 3.6 hectare land in Forestville for $38.2 million in September 2020 after German retailer Kaufland scrapped plans for a supermarket in the area.

Renewal SA under the former Marshall government chose the Chapley Consortium as its preferred developer and was expected to announce the master plan in the second half of 2021. Negotiations have taken “longer than expected”, the agency said, talks are ending. extending beyond the March state elections. .

But Champion dismissed suggestions that Renewal SA’s Forestville decision should be reviewed in the same way as the government’s current inquiry into the Brompton gasworks development plan.

“I think you can’t really compare sites because you can see there’s a high degree of consensus here,” Champion said.

“I think it’s a compelling offer and it’s a non-controversial issue.

Planning Minister Nick Champion and Badcoe MP Jayne Stinson speak to the media. Photo: Tony Lewis/InDaily

“Bowden is somewhat different, Bowden is a former gas works, it has a higher degree of contamination…and obviously there was an issue of public consternation given that the Bowden site was announced very shortly before the beginning of the interim arrangements for the state election.”

Tony Cole, managing director of Renewal SA, major projects and pipeline, declined to reveal how many developers the agency had shortlisted for the Forestville site.

“There were a number of developers interested in the site, we shortlisted and chose based on our vision,” he said.

“We are very passionate about having selected the right team to deliver to this incredible site.”

“It’s a site that will connect the existing community to a new community, it’s retail, it’s jobs, it’s education, it’s residential – it offers everything for the community. “

The Forestville Le Cornu site on March 14, 2022. Photo: Thomas Kelsall/InDaily

A community consultation undertaken by local Labor MP Jayne Stinson last year found that 43% of residents wanted a new school to be built on the Forestville site, followed closely by open green space.

Stinson said a government campaign pledge to ensure his constituents could send their children to Adelaide High or Adelaide Botanic High had “addressed many community concerns about schooling”.

“As for green space…this project has about 15% ground level green space and about 15% elevated green space that needs to be secured after hours,” she said.

“I’m really interested to see what my community thinks about it. A lot of people in my community would like to see all the green space on the site, but I don’t think that’s very realistic.

Formal consultation on the plans will open in October.

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