Adelaide Crows partner with developer Pelligra to plan Brompton gasworks clubroom
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The Adelaide Crows are zeroing in on Brompton’s Gasworks site for a new headquarters, backed by the developer of Holden’s former Elizabeth plant.
Melbourne-based developer Pelligra has become a financial partner with the Crows, helping co-ordinate plans for a commercial/residential development at the 6ha disused gasworks site.
It is understood Pelligra also has been charged with selling the Crows’ West Lakes training and office complex, where the club has been based since it was founded in 1990.
The Sunday Mail has been told talks about the Brompton site with its owner, state government land agency Renewal SA, have involved the Crows paying a nominal sale price but shouldering the financial burden of extensive, costly land remediation.
It is understood the club’s negotiators recently have focused efforts on Brompton – revealed on May 7 by Crows chairman John Olsen as a potential new headquarters – ahead of Thebarton Oval.
Asked about the Bowden joint venture with Pelligra, a Crows spokesman said: “The club is continuing to undertake due diligence on its two preferred sites for a new headquarters – Thebarton Oval and the Brompton Gasworks.
“We have also engaged the services of a project management group and an architect, along with a range of other consultancies to further assess the feasibility of both locations.” Pelligra chairman Ross Pelligra did not respond to requests for comment.
After inquiries from the Sunday Mail, Renewal SA on Friday night revealed it had “decided to seek interest from external parties on development options for the former gasworks site to take advantage of the increased interest we are receiving from both local and interstate parties”. Treasurer Rob Lucas, the minister responsible for Renewal SA, insisted talks about the gasworks were at an early stage and vowed “there’ll be no free kick for the Crows”.
Opposition Leader Peter Malinauskas, an ardent Port Adelaide supporter whose electorate includes Brompton, said he was prepared to back the Crows’ plans if they allowed for appropriate community open space, heritage protection and land clean-up.
Mr Malinauskas said he had contacted Mr Olsen, also the Liberal Party federal president, and sought a formal briefing.
It is understood Pelligra’s three-piece task is to manage the financial and land contamination risk, by putting money into the Brompton project, plus helping achieve an optimal price for the current Crows’ West Lakes headquarters.
Pelligra’s Adelaide property portfolio includes the former Holden plant, now known as Lionsgate Business Park, and the CBD’s Wakefield Hospital site.
Freehold ownership of the gasworks site would reduce planning approval risks and give the Crows a blank slate for developing offices, ovals and clubrooms.
Thebarton Oval is leased by the SANFL and is the home of the Adelaide Footy League.
The federal government has granted the Crows $15 million to relocate their headquarters from West Lakes.
In an email newsletter sent on Friday, Renewal SA chief executive Chris Menz said the former gasworks site would be taken to market in a two-stage process – a registration of interest followed by a request for proposal.
“This will be an open and public competitive process and subject to necessary probity requirements required for the sale of such a significant state-owned asset,” Mr Menz said.
Numerous parties had reached out to discuss the site in the past few months, he said, which had coincided with an “overall review” of the Bowden project.
The gasworks site, sold to the government in 2010, is part of the wider Bowden higher density infill redevelopment, which involves 20 separate residential and commercial projects, including the Plant 4 market and retail complex in the former Clipsal building.
When revealing the Brompton site as the Crows’ second option, Mr Olsen said a Crows takeover “would enable a green space to be built within that Brompton-Bowden area”.
At the time, Mr Olsen said many components of the designs for a training and administrative facility at the aquatic centre in North Adelaide – abandoned last year – would transfer to both the Brompton and Thebarton Oval sites.