A developer wants to build 800 new apartments as part of a 20-storey complex in this luxury suburb
James Hetherington, City North Messenger
September 5, 2016 5:07pm
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A DEVELOPER will push ahead with plans for a 20-storey complex containing 800 apartments, three levels of shopping and a retirement village in Thorngate despite opposition from residents and community leaders.
MichaelKris Real Estate is behind the plans for the tightly-held suburb and over the past year has been offering “option agreements” to residents.
So far, it is understood about 20 residents have signed the agreements, which gives the real estate company first right to buy the property before November 2017.
MichaelKris Real Estate declined to comment on its plans last week but it is understood the company is pushing ahead with a vision to build the complex off Main North Rd and is still approaching property owners.
Prospect Mayor David O’Loughlin confirmed he had met with the developers, who outlined their intent for area, which is zoned as residential.
Throngate, in Adelaide’s inner north, is one of South Australia’s most expensive suburbs.
While RP Data Corelogic does not record a median house price for the suburb because there’s been less than 10 sales over the past 12 months, sales in Thorngate over the past two years include a four-bedroom house on 879sq m for $1.3 million and a three-bedroom house on 571sqm for $850,000.
Thorngate is a tightly-held suburb. This home was recently listed on Realestate.com.au
Mr O’Loughlin confirmed he and Prospect chief executive Cate Atkinson were shown “a series of drawings, all done by hand and in colour”.
He also confirmed MichaelKris Real Estate approached the council to buy some of its land off Thorngate St.
The developer declined to reveal more detailed plans to the City North Messenger.
“It indicated a proposal for three stories deep of parking with 3000 spaces,” Mr O’Loughlin told City North Messenger.
“It included a 3-storey shopping centre under 12 storeys of apartments, three levels of retirement village which would include a private hospital and three levels of supersized penthouse apartments, complete with car lifts.
“(It is) the equivalent of over 20 storeys high and covering more than a city block.
“The whole thing is preposterous.
“We made it clear we would no way approve their design.
“It is … unapprovable almost anywhere in the state except the CBD.”
The likely size of the development would mean it would be likely assessed by the State Government’s Development Assessment Commission and Planning Minister John Rau.
Thorngate resident Paul Ellis wrote to Mr Rau in opposition of the proposal and received a written reply from the minister.
Mr Rau wrote that any proposal “of the scale mentioned” would not be in line with building heights in the suburb and it would be “difficult” to align the development with the surrounding area.
“Therefore it is reasonable to expect that any application formally proposing such a development would not be supported by the relevant planning authority and would most likely be refused,” the letter reads.
A public meeting about the development was held at Prospect Council in June, prompted by resident concerns over the legality of the developer’s “option agreements” and how the complex would impact their suburb.
Option agreements are common place when developers plan to build large buildings.
Churcher St resident Anna Fusco said residents were against the development because of traffic concerns and building heights.
“We’ve formed a task group with the council and are looking at different avenues to keep ahead of anything happening,” Ms Fusco said.
“We’ve emailed Kate Ellis who has contacted Mr Rau in opposition of it.
“Rachel Sanderson has also been very helpful.”
All high-rise, low-rise and street developments in areas other than the CBD and North Adelaide. Includes Port Adelaide and Glenelg.
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