THE South Australian Government last week announced it will commit $180 million to redeveloping the Festival Plaza precinct under a $610 million agreement reached with Walker Corporation.
The redevelopment will include a premium office building along a closed-to-traffic boulevard on Station Road, two levels of cafes, restaurants and retail behind Parliament House, a new underground car park and a complete redesign of the current Hajak Plaza.
Walker Corporation has committed $430 million to the project, including $40 million towards the public works of the Festival Plaza.
Premier Jay Weatherill said the revitalisation of the Festival Plaza precinct would ensure the first-class experience of Adelaide Oval was properly linked to the Riverbank, Festival Centre and Adelaide Casino.
"For a long time this vital precinct has been neglected as an entertainment area while the car park has fallen into a state of significant disrepair," he said.
"The initial plans to rebuild the car park really presented us with a blank canvas upon which we could reimagine what should be the City's premier cultural and entertainment precinct.
"These plans are substantial and the redevelopment seeks to extend the runaway success of the Adelaide Oval redevelopment with what we want to become Adelaide's best public space."
Renewal SA has negotiated the plan with Walker Corporation to develop:
- Two levels of restaurants, cafes and bars, ground-floor retail immediately behind Parliament House opening on to the Plaza;
- 1,560 space underground car park, with new entrance point on King William Road, with electric car charging facilities that will support the Adelaide Casino and the growth of the Festival Centre;
- High quality public realm which may include public artwork, water features and natural plantings;
- A premium office building on Station Road of up to 24 stories, with potential to attract major national and global anchor tenants to the State;
- Improved pedestrian connections between the footbridge and the railway station; and
- The closing over of the Plaza level to create a single cultural and entertainment precinct.
"We said before the election that this precinct needed to be preserved as a public space and this plan does just that.
"This plan includes 4700 square meters of formal high-quality public realm, which is slightly larger than the existing Plaza, with more than 11,000 square meters of open space."
Deputy Premier and Minister for Urban Development John Rau said this project would activate currently under-utilised space.
"This area has great potential and as it currently stands people are simply not using this space," he said.
"With the redeveloped Adelaide Oval, the footbridge and other city activation projects in this area its important this plaza provides a link that attracts more people to the precinct.
"The bulk of the project is expected to be delivered in three years and the project is expected to create more than 2,500 construction jobs with an estimated 400 ongoing jobs.
"This development is a prime example of how the State Government and private investors can work together to deliver significant returns for the State."
Andrew McEvoy, Chair of the Riverbank Authority welcomed the plans.
"Unlocking the potential of this area of the Riverbank has been foremost in the mind of the Riverbank Authority since it was formed last October," he said.
"The commercial development will perfectly compliment other Government-funded facilities such as the Adelaide Oval, Adelaide Convention Centre and plans to improve the Festival Centre experience.
"This announcement sees a continuation of the revitalisation of what I see as a world's best meeting place - for locals and visitors alike.
"Between the Walker development and potential for Sky City's exciting plans, there will be new public areas for people to enjoy in what is one of Australia's ultimate lifestyle cities.
"The Adelaide Oval is proof of how revitalised public infrastructure can generate economic growth and confidence and this development will be a further boost."