The redevelopment of the old Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) will be one of the largest of its kind in South Australia’s history, creating thousands of jobs and generating an estimated $7.5 billion of economic activity.

The redevelopment is expected to generate more than $1 billion in private investment, as well as 1,000 jobs per year during construction and 2,900 jobs on site when finished.

The Royal Adelaide redevelopment will feature four distinct yet intertwined quarters:

  • A Garden Quarter featuring more than two hectares of land transferred to the Adelaide Botanic Garden
  • A University and Innovation Quarter including multiple universities collaborating with incubators, start-ups, financiers, businesses and social organisations
  • A Culture and Tourism Quarter strengthening Adelaide’s reputation as a global cultural and tourism destination
  • A Living Quarter catering for vibrant, student-centred facilities through to aged-care accommodation

The Government will now enter into exclusive negotiations with the preferred proponents – a consortium of South Australian property group Commercial and General and infrastructure and property company John Holland.

South Australian Minister for Housing and Urban Development, Stephen Mullighan, said the precinct will be an economic driver, reflecting the state’s transitioning economy and developing new industries which will result in thousands of new jobs.

“It will breathe new life into the city’s East End, with a mixed-use precinct which not only opens the site to the public and reclaims precious land, but also fosters innovation and healthy living while generating billions of dollars in valuable economic activity,” Mr Mullighan said.

“The design is respectful of the Park Lands setting of the site while providing opportunities for events and entertainment, meeting spaces, work and living to continue attracting thousands of people to the East End site day and night.

“The Government’s $55 million budget investment to deliver the AdeLINK tram extension will provide a vital link to this East End site, which will also contain a network of laneways and shared use paths linking to surrounding precincts.”

The State Government will invest around $200 million which will mainly be used for demolition, remediation and site activation.

Once complete, 70 per cent of the old RAH site will be publicly accessible, compared with just 38 per cent currently open to public use, and more than 9,300 people a day will work, visit or live in the precinct.

South Australian Premier, Jay Weatherill, said one of the most important elements of the project is to reclaim a substantial part of the old hospital site for open space and to open up a part of the city which is presently almost entirely inaccessible to the general public.

“The old Royal Adelaide Hospital site is one of Adelaide’s most prominent locations and provides a rare opportunity to transform and enhance the city’s East End for the benefit of all South Australians,” Mr Weatherill said.

“We believe the proposal provided by the preferred proponent meets all of the expectations of the community.

“Importantly, this plan recognises the importance of maintaining day and night activity on the site, replacing the people lost by the relocation of the RAH and helping to sustain and grow economic activity in the East End.

“This proposal could play host to a multitude of small to medium enterprises, co-located with the best and brightest minds from across Adelaide, working together for the future of South Australia.”

The project involves more than 25 stakeholders including the University of Adelaide, University of South Australia, Carnegie Mellon University and the Botanic Gardens.

Commercial and General Chief Executive, Jamie McClurg, said, “We are excited and honoured to have been selected as the preferred proponent to deliver this truly transformational project for the city of Adelaide and the people of South Australia.

“This precinct is a public asset – it is owned by the people of this state, and we believe our vision is respectful of that on every level and particularly why 70 per cent of the space in our vision is publicly accessible.

“We want to deliver a project that is focused around a knowledge and innovation hub which will ultimately be a global showcase of South Australia’s thought leadership – a showcase of the future of how we live, how we learn, how we celebrate our arts and culture and how we use and honour our environment.”

John Holland Chief Executive Officer, Glenn Palin, said the company was proud to have the opportunity to collaborate on the development of such a vital project for the South Australian community.

“This transformational $1 billion plus development will result in an exciting new sustainable living precinct,” Mr Palin said.

John Holland Executive General Manager, Development and Investments, Tom Roche, said the company’s new business model has allowed it to develop its property development expertise and has enabled the vision for the precinct to come to life with key focuses on public spaces, culture and multi-generational living.

“John Holland will develop and construct this project. It is evidence of our ability to provide end-to-end solutions for our customers, and we look forward to partnering with the State Government and our partner, Commercial and General, to make it a reality,” Mr Roche said.

Construction is scheduled to begin in 2017 and is expected to take ten years to develop.

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