Hotel, hundreds of apartments plan for old bus terminal

The former Franklin Street bus terminal will be transformed into a twin tower complex featuring a 26-storey building, nearly 400 new apartments and a hotel, after the city council chose the state government as lead developer for the prime CBD site. See the pictures and video

May 02, 2023, updated May 02, 2023
A photo of the twin tower development planned for the old Franklin St bus station. Image: Renewal SA/supplied

A photo of the twin tower development planned for the old Franklin St bus station. Image: Renewal SA/supplied

Premier Peter Malinauskas and Adelaide Lord Mayor Jane Lomax-Smith today revealed plans to redevelop the former city bus terminal at 111-129 Franklin Street into a mixed-use high-rise development capable of holding more than 1000 new residents.

The 6850 square metre council-owned site has been largely vacant since 2008. It currently holds car parks, electric vehicle chargers and a community space run by Conservation SA known as The Joinery.

111-129 Franklin Street. Photo: Tony Lewis/InDaily

Redevelopment plans for the Franklin St site released today. Image: Renewal SA/supplied

The proposed redevelopment, named Tapangka (Kaurna for “the experience of the journey”), will feature 392 apartments, a 208-room hotel, civic centre and commercial/office space housed within a 26-storey west tower and an 18-storey east tower.

The taller tower will feature four-storeys of commercial space, an eight-storey hotel and 196 “build to rent” apartments across the top 14 floors.

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

A new civic centre with “strong links to the local arts community” will also be part of the development, the government said.

Tapangka. Image: Renewal SA/supplied

Adelaide City Council put 111-129 Franklin Street up for sale last year through real estate agents JLL.

It was revealed today that the council had selected the state government’s urban renewal agency, Renewal SA, to purchase the site, instead of a private developer.

Renewal SA has set a benchmark of 35 per cent affordable housing for the development, equating to 137 apartments.

The 35 per cent benchmark is higher than the 15 per cent affordable housing requirement typically set for private developments. Affordable housing is defined by the state government as a dwelling priced at $417,000 or less.

An aerial shot of 111-129 Franklin Street. Photo: JLL

The Premier said the state government had to be “activist within the market” to fix the state’s lack of housing, arguing other prime land parcels in the CBD have been left vacant for too long.

“We don’t want parcels of land like this in our city to just lay idle as a car park,” he told reporters.

“It should be utilised and developed with a high-quality, thoughtful development that brings more people back into our city.”

Renewal SA will eventually partner with a private developer to deliver the project, which will create 1300 jobs, Malinauskas said.

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But Construction of Tapangka is not expected to begin until 2026 and its first residents not anticipated by 2028.

The entire development is not expected to be completed until 2029.

Malinauskas said construction will be staged so car parks are not loss for the adjacent Central Market while the $400m Market Square development is underway.

The city council will retain 111-129 Franklin Street until 2025, with construction not starting until the redeveloped Central Market is completed.

[solstice_jwplayer mediaid=”fs26WHZr” title=”Tapangka development” caption=”Video: Renewal SA” /]

Malinauskas said the state government had been eyeing off the Franklin Street land parcel “ever since the council floated the potential of this site to be developed”.

“[A] private developer… would have done something with this site, which I think would have been potentially very good, but with a different set of values underpinning it,” he said.

“But by partnering with Renewal SA, the council has made a decision in conjunction with the state government to develop this site in a carbon neutral way with a lot of affordable housing and a lot more people coming here.”

Lomax-Smith said Renewal SA’s affordable housing proposal was the primary reason it was selected as the preferred proponent.

“The city council recognises the housing crisis in our state, and quite frankly the city has to be part of the solution and not just see urban sprawl going out into the regions,” she told reporters.

“I’m really delighted that we’ve got a very strong affordable housing content in this development, because that means the people we need in the city – the essential workers, people who are working in hospitals, schools, shops – they can afford hopefully to live here and will be living not only in the heart of the city but next to the Central Market.”

Tapangka will still need to be approved by the state’s planning authorities.

The old Franklin Street bus terminal was opened in 1969. The council replaced it in 2008 with a new $27m bus terminal and apartment block just down the road at 83 Franklin Street.

Since 2014, the SA Conservation Council has been housed at 111 Franklin Street after winning a council tender to occupy and revitalise the site.

Conservation Council SA CEO Craig Wilkins told InDaily that his organisation has “known something’s been coming for a while” and was “really excited” the state government was stepping in as lead developer.

“We believe that we could stay here and be part of a new building,” he said, adding that 300 different community groups have used The Joinery community centre over the last year.

“We would love to start talking to the government as lead developer if there’s a role for us moving forward, particularly around the activation of community.”

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