Preferred Proponent selected for former Gasworks site at Bowden

Leading national developer MAB Corporation has been selected as the Preferred Proponent for the acquisition, remediation and development of the former 5.81-hectare Gasworks site at Bowden following an extensive tender evaluation process.

“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,” Treasurer Rob Lucas said.

“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.

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

“As the Minister responsible for Renewal SA, I have approved the recommendation from the Renewal SA Board to select MAB Corporation.”

Key highlights of the MAB proposal include:

  • Investment of $459 million in capital expenditure in the site over the life of the project;
  • The highest economic impact of all proponents during both the construction and operational phases;
  • An average of 190 South Australian construction jobs supported per year over the 10 year development cycle with an expected 310 jobs on site during the peak year; and
  • A further 730-1000 ongoing jobs once completed.

MAB has extensive development credentials with $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.

Its consulting team has significant experience in remediating former gasworks sites including Millers Point Gasworks (NSW) and Fitzroy Gasworks (Vic) and Osborne Gasworks (SA).

MAB’s outstanding proposed team for the project include Tier 1 remediation contractors Enviropacific, award winning affordable housing developer Nightingale Housing, hospitality specialists Duxton Pubs, and build to rent delivery partner Australian Unity Superannuation.

MAB’s solution for the former Gasworks site – which was acquired by the State Government in 2010 and requires significant remediation – represents a $66.5 million reduction in overall government capital expenditure compared to existing budget forecasts.

The MAB proposal will see the adaptive reuse, restoration and opening of former gasworks structures and tunnels in the Heritage Quarter, with a 120-room hotel and an integrated commercial and retail offering that will generate unprecedented levels of entertainment, economic activity and social vibrancy.

This will incorporate a piazza surrounded by cafes, restaurants and bars.

There will be 11,500sqm of commercial and retail space featuring an Employment Hub – this is almost four times larger than Plant 3 and Plant 4 combined.

The development achieves a 6 Star Green Star community rating which represents ‘World Leadership’ in environmentally sustainable practices and, in a South Australian first, all power across the project will be delivered via 100 per cent renewable energy provided through rooftop solar.

MAB has committed to exceed the 15 per cent affordable housing target across the development, with its proposed residential mix made up of 207 townhouses, 120 Nightingale zero-carbon affordable apartments, 305 market sale apartments and up to 200 build-to-rent and aged care apartments. This will provide new housing options for an estimated 2200 residents once completed. The development will also include 1,180 car parks.

Around 1.5 hectares – or approximately 25 per cent of the total site – of high-quality, publicly accessible, active and passive open space will be delivered, with a substantial investment being committed to public infrastructure.

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 Menzsaid.

“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 MAB proposal will complete this flagship Bowden development and deliver significant and lasting social, commercial, employment and environmental benefits for the local community and South Australia.”

The former Gasworks site will represent the MAB’s entry into the South Australian market, with the company using the project to establish an Adelaide office. Renewal SA is now exclusively negotiating with MAB with a view to entering into a Development Agreement in the coming months.

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