MAB kicks winning goal in Adelaide

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MELBOURNE-based developer MAB Corporation has been selected by the South Australian government to develop the 5.81-hectare Brompton gasworks site at Bowden into a mixed-use master-planned community home to 2,200 residents.

MAB’s win is a loss for the AFL’s Adelaide Crows, which had put forward a bid to redevelop the site into a new headquarters, training and community facility, as well as a home ground for its AFLW team.

Under MAB’s plans, the Bowden site will include 207 townhouses, 305 apartments, 120 zero-carbon affordable apartments, and as many as 200 build-to-rent and aged care apartments.

The proposal will see the adaptive reuse, restoration and opening of former gasworks structures and tunnels in the Heritage Quarter, with a 120-room hotel with 11,500 sqm of commercial and retail space – almost four times larger than Plant 3 and Plant 4 combined – and an employment hub home to 750 to 1,000 people.

Investment of $459 million in capital expenditure in the site over the life of the project.

“The MAB proposal delivers an intergenerational solution for the site, remediating it for future generations while also reducing the state government’s liability and therefore the risk to taxpayers,” South Australian Treasurer Rob Lucas said.

The state government acquired the site in 2010 and it requires significant remediation. MAB’s solution represents a $66.5 million reduction in overall government capital expenditure compared to existing budget forecasts.

“The project will also deliver long-term benefits to the state, both through the construction jobs, trades and local companies supported over the 10-year development cycle and the 730-plus ongoing jobs once completed,” Lucas said.

An average of 190 construction jobs will be supported per year over the 10 year development cycle with an expected 310 jobs on-site during the peak year.

MAB has $11 billion in completed and future projects. Its most recent developments include the village of NewQuay in Melbourne’s Docklands precinct as well as Merrifield in the city’s north-west which, at $5 billion, is Victoria’s largest master-planned, mixed-use community. It has also remediated multiple former gasworks sites including Millers Point Gasworks in Sydney, Fitzroy Gasworks in Melbourne, and Osborne Gasworks in South Australia.

MAB’s proposed team for the project includes remediation contractors Enviro Pacific, award affordable housing developer Nightingale Housing, hospitality specialists Duxton Pubs, and build-to-rent delivery partner Australian Unity Superannuation.

The development is aiming for a 6 Star Green Star community rating and, in a first for the state first, all power across the project will be delivered via 100% renewable energy provided through rooftop solar.

Around 1.5 hectares of the site will be set aside for publicly accessible open space.

The MAB master plan also features seamless integration with the existing Bowden development through open space connections, bike paths and walkways and offers great connectivity to the tram and train stops within walking distance from the Bowden precinct.

“While all the submissions we received from the shortlisted bidders were of a high quality, the MAB proposal was judged as delivering superior overall outcomes for the local community and the people of South Australia across the evaluation criteria,” Renewal SA CEO Chris Menz said.

“This included the compelling vision expressed through its master plan, the proposed approach to remediation and environment, the experience of its team and the short and long-term commercial returns to the State.

The Adelaide Crows released a statement saying it had shifted its focus to Thebarton Oval.

“We are determined to build a state-of-the-art training and administration facility which underscores our football-first focus and our unwavering commitment to deliver the type of on-field success we all want,” said the club’s chairman, John Olsen.

City of West Torrens Mayor Michael Coxon said he was excited at the prospect of the Crows moving to Thebarton.

“The council is supportive of Adelaide’s plans and we have been in long-running discussions with their hierarchy,” Coxon said.

“We look forward to bringing to life the many and varied benefits that the Crows will generate for the people who live in Thebarton and surrounding suburbs.

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