Developer chosen for key Adelaide site

Rob Lucas has announced the preferred bidder to redevelop an old Adelaide gasworks site.
Rob Lucas has announced the preferred bidder to redevelop an old Adelaide gasworks site.

A Melbourne-based group has been chosen to redevelop an old gasworks site in Adelaide, with the $459 million plan expected to generate up to 1000 ongoing jobs.

South Australian Treasurer Rob Lucas says the MAB Corporation has been selected as the preferred bidder to acquire, remediate and develop the 5.8-hectare site at suburban Bowden.

Its plans include housing options for up to 2200 residents through construction of 207 townhouses, 425 apartments and 200 aged care units.

A 120-room hotel is also proposed along with entertainment and retail spaces for cafes, restaurants and bars.

Mr Lucas said the company had committed to exceed a 15 per cent affordable housing target while 25 per cent of the site would be retained as open space.

"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," the treasurer said.

"This is an outstanding outcome for this landmark site and one that could only have been achieved through the robust, open market process."

But that process dashed the hopes of the Adelaide Crows AFL team which had proposed establishing an inner-city headquarters on the site along with an oval and a commercial and residential development.

Crows chairman John Olsen said the prospect of a large commercial property developer coming over the top of Adelaide's community-focused plan had always been a distinct possibility.

"We owe it to our members and supporters to explore these opportunities. However we must never jeopardise the club's financial sustainability when considering any investment of this magnitude," he said.

"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."

Mr Olsen said the club would now focus its efforts on an alternative site at Thebarton Oval.

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," Mr Coxon said.

Australian Associated Press