The wait is over. We’ve all been wondering what the plans for the old Royal Adelaide Hospital site would be – and today’s announcement by Premier Jay Weatherill has unveiled one of the largest redevelopments of its type in the State’s history, creating thousands of jobs and generating an estimated $7.5 billion of economic activity.
The Royal Adelaide redevelopment will feature four distinct yet intertwined quarters:
• A Garden Quarter featuring more than 2ha of land, which is being transferred back to the Adelaide Botanic Garden. The Garden Quarter will take up almost a third of the 7ha site, involving the demolition of the unsightly East Wing, with the land transferred to the Adelaide Botanic Garden. The proposal would increase the size of the Botanic Garden lake and include a new entry statement.
• A University and Innovation Quarter including multiple universities collaborating with incubators, start-ups, financiers, businesses and social organisations. The University and Innovation Quarter will contain a world-class research centre – a state-of- the-art campus linking the education sector with technology leaders, start-ups, businesses, entrepreneurs and social organisations.
• A Culture and Tourism Quarter strengthening Adelaide’s reputation as a global cultural and tourism destination. The Culture and Tourism Quarter will reuse heritage-listed buildings on North Terrace. A new 5-star hotel is also envisaged as part of the project, along with new public spaces including a North Terrace plaza, laneways and a European-style piazza.
• A Living Quarter catering for vibrant, student-centred facilities through to aged-care accommodation. The Living Quarter will cater for all generations, including a mix of leasehold apartments, shared student accommodation and a state-of-the-art aged care facility. It will feature approximately 1080 apartments, including 150 affordable student dwellings and 60 supported residential care dwellings.
The redevelopment is expected to generate more than $1 billion in private investment, as well as 1000 jobs per annum during construction and 2,900 jobs on site when finished.
The Government investment is approximately $200 million and will mainly be used for demolition, remediation and site activation.
Once completed, more than 9,300 people a day will work, visit or live in the precinct.
Importantly, 70 per cent of the old RAH site will be publicly accessible, compared with just 38 per cent currently open to public use.
The project involves more than 25 stakeholders including the University of Adelaide, University of South Australia, Carnegie Mellon University and the Botanic Gardens.
The Government will now enter into exclusive negotiations with the preferred proponents – a consortium of South Australian property group Commercial & General and infrastructure and property company John Holland.