Affordable housing plays a key role in former bus station site redevelopment

Last updated 02 May, 2023

More affordable housing in the CBD is at the heart of a new multimillion-dollar project to transform the former Franklin Street bus terminal into a twin tower complex.

The City of Adelaide endorsed Renewal SA as the preferred proponent to redevelop the 6850sq m site that would accommodate more than 1000 residents across 392 apartments. More than a third of all apartments have been flagged as affordable housing for rent or purchase. 

The redevelopment, named Tapangka (Kaurna for “the experience of the journey”), would also include a 208- key hotel, significant commercial office space along with retail, food and beverage that would act as complementary extensions of the Adelaide Central Market experience.

Construction of Tapangka, expected to commence in early 2026, would be staged. Project completion is anticipated by 2029.

City of Adelaide Lord Mayor Jane Lomax-Smith said she was "pleased" the plan included more than double the affordable housing requirements.

“The state government’s proposal will help accelerate investment and growth within our city,” the Lord Mayor said.

“There will also be space for retail and hospitality outlets, and a mixed-use development, which will no doubt enhance and support the much-loved Market District.”

Under the plans, the taller tower would feature four levels of commercial space, an eight-storey hotel and 196 “build to rent” apartments across the top 14 floors.

The smaller east tower would have 196 apartments available for sale and rent across 18-storeys.

Renewal SA Chief Executive Chris Menz said the project was a significant economic opportunity and a chance to set a new benchmark for inner city living.

“Our key focus is to drive the long-term sustainability and prosperity of our capital and our state, and this is a substantial chance to revitalise a beloved part of our city by creating a thriving, multi-functional precinct that delivers high quality outcomes across a mix of housing, retail and commercial uses," Mr Menz said.

“The precinct will leverage Adelaide’s new confidence and international outlook by being bold in design, unapologetic in purpose and wholly focused on making people’s lives richer, easier and more connected - all the while targeting carbon neutrality.”

Market district renewal Tapangka image exterior

Premier Peter Malinauskas said he is pleased that the state government is partnering with City of Adelaide to shape the city’s future.

“We are doing everything we can as a Government to deliver affordable housing for South Australians at a time when the Australian dream of owning your own home feels harder to reach,” Premier Malinauskas said.

“Now is the time to bring to life land across our State to provide a boost to the housing market – we want to increase stock and drive down prices.

"The development will also significantly expand commercial, retail, and food and beverage offerings in the city’s south while adding to the Market Square upgrade to further activate the site and attract visitors." 

Property Council of Australia SA Executive Director Bruce Djite said the development would support and further improve Adelaide's vibrancy.

"Population growth is critical if we are to capitalise on our economic prospects and will naturally support local business and make use of existing infrastructure," Mr Djite said.

"It is exciting to see that this development will include a significant build-to-rent component, a sector that is set to take off in South Australia, and one that will support an increase in the supply of rental properties so greatly needed in Adelaide."

The multimillion-dollar development would become a significant jobs driver for South Australia. During the construction period alone, more than 1,300 jobs would be created, contributing more than $161 million of Gross Value Add to the state.

The former Bus Station site is currently utilised as UPark Andrew to maintain sufficient car parking for Central Market customers during the construction phase of Market Square.

Construction will not start until after the Market Square development is complete.

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