Stuart Flats Urban Renewal Project

Morris Property Group is excited to be undertaking a significant urban renewal project in Manuka ACT. The redevelopment will comprise demolition of the dilapidated Stuart Flats buildings and transformation of the site into a mixed use precinct.

The redevelopment will take place over 3 parcels of land comprising Block 23 Section 39 Griffith (4,514m2), Block 24 Section 39 Griffith (12,080m2) and Block 6 Section 43 Griffith (2,163m2) located on Captain Cook Crescent, Stuart Street and Light Street.

The subject property is ideally located in Manuka, one of Canberra’s most sought-after neighbourhoods only 5km south of the CBD.

Within easy walking distance of the site is a Coles supermarket, Manuka Oval, various shops, cafes and restaurants, the Manuka swimming pool and Canberra Grammar School.

Existing Site Conditions

The site is currently improved with Stuart Flats, a 4 storey public housing development constructed in 1959-1960.

The buildings have been vacated and the site has deteriorated significantly.

There is vandalism , litter throughout the site and public safety concerns around break-ins and squatters trying to access the vacant buildings.

Morris Property Group is determined to commence demolition and redevelopment of the site to improve public safety and revitalise the surrounding area.


The site is zoned RZ5 – High Density Residential under the Territory Plan.

The site is subject to the planning controls within the Griffith Precinct Code.

Maximum building heights for the site range between 3 and 6 storeys.

A landscape area must also be provided in a location generally in accordance with the Griffith Precinct Map.

Proposed Development

The size, shape and topography of the site supports a mixed use development with a variety of accommodation types and commercial uses. 

The permitted uses under the Crown Lease include:

  • multi-unit housing for 414 dwellings (100 units on Block 23, 282 units on Block 24 and 32 units on Block 6),
  • boarding house,
  • child care centre,
  • community activity centre,
  • guest house,
  • health facility,
  • residential care accommodation,
  • retirement village and supportive housing

The proposed development responds to local demand for accommodation, health care and child care facilities to support the growing population of the inner south.

The project will offer a variety of dwelling types suitable for singles, young professionals, families and active older residents seeking to downsize.

The proposed development will accord with the permitted uses under the Crown Lease and may include:

  • 414 residential dwellings
  • A child care centre
  • A health facility
  • High quality landscaped open spaces
  • Basement parking
  • Building heights ranging from 3 to 6 Levels in accordance with the Griffith Precinct Map and Code

Project Benefits

The Stuart Flats Urban Renewal Project will provide significant benefits to the local community.

  • The project will significantly improve the local area through removal of public housing and demolition of the dilapidated Stuart Flats buildings.
  • Commencement of the project will provide drastic improvements to public safety and the aesthetics and amenity of the local area.
  • Once completed, the project will provide residential accommodation in a convenient location that is close to public transport, opposite the Manuka retail precinct, employment nodes, community facilities and major open spaces such as Telopea Park and Lake Burley Griffin.
  • The proposed development is consistent with the objectives of the High Density Residential Zone as outlined in the Territory Plan and ACT Government policies.
  • The project will provide a range of apartment sizes in a high quality landscaped setting.
  • The residential development will provide new housing choices for residents who want to down-size from existing housing into a range of quality designed accommodation, without having to move from the local area.
  • The proposed child care centre and medical centre will increase the number of employment opportunities in the Manuka area without compromising residential amenity.
  • The proposed child care centre and medical centre will offer convenient services for people already living in the local area.
  • The proposed development meets the permissible uses under the Crown Leases.
  • The development will be designed with extensive landscaping between buildings linking Captain Cook Crescent to the Light Street park. A mix of native and deciduous vegetation will be incorporated into the landscape design.
  • Other sustainable features may include passive solar orientation of buildings, stormwater capture and reuse on site, energy efficient apartments with water and energy efficient appliances and use of sustainable building materials.
  • During construction, measures will be taken to minimise noise, dust and disturbance to surrounding properties where possible.
  • The Stuart Flats renewal project will create new residential opportunities in the inner south. The proposed plan is consistent with Government policy for redevelopment of the site and demonstrates continued investor confidence as well as employment in the construction sector in Canberra.

Community Consultation

Morris Property Group is committed to delivering the Stuart Flats Urban Renewal Project in a way that is sensitive to Manuka’s existing character, heritage and enriches the suburb by introducing high-quality architecture.

We are committed to delivering a development that is consistent with the Territory Plan and the Griffith Precinct Code.

We are following the Pre DA Community Consultation Guidelines for Prescribed Developments to ensure meaningful engagement is undertaken in relation to the proposed development prior to lodgement of a Development Application.

​This website will provide the following information as part of the Community Consultation process:

  • project updates as the concept design progresses
  • answers to frequently asked questions
  • details of community consultations
  • contact details

To submit an enquiry or query in relation to the project please email [email protected]

We will endeavor to engage with interested members of the community through this website, our Facebook Page, letter box drops to the surrounding area and by providing onsite signage.

Please follow our Facebook page http://facebook.com/morrispropertygroup to stay up to date with project progress.


Communtiy Consultation Sessions

We will be undertaking 4 x Community Consultation Sessions at the Griffith Neighbourhood Centre:

Session 1: Local Business Owners Community Consultation Session. Wednesday 24 July 3pm – 4pm

Session 2: Local Residents Community Consultation Session. Wednesday 24 July 4pm – 6pm

Session 3: Local Business Owners Community Consultation Session. Thursday 25 July 3pm – 4pm

Session 4: Local Residents Community Consultation Session. Thursday 25 July 4pm – 6pm


We invite you to join us at the Community Consultation sessions where we will provide detailed information about the project and respond to any queries you may have.


We have responded to queries regarding the proposed development below.

How many units will be delivered on the site?

414 apartments will be delivered across the three sites in accordance with the allowable uses under the Crown Lease.


Will the proposed commercial uses be in addition to the maximum number of units allowed on site?

Yes the proposed commercial uses will be in addition to the maximum number of units allowable under the Crown Lease.


What is the proposed unit mix?

The proposed unit mix will be approximately:

  • 10% – 15% 3 bedroom apartments
  • 55% – 60% 2 bedroom apartments
  • 30% – 35% 1 bedroom apartments


Should there be more 3 bedroom apartments in the unit mix to cater for downsizers?

Morris Property Group’s experience with recent developments in the inner-south and inner-north provide evidence that there is low demand for 3 bedroom units largely due to the price point. At Kingston Place in Kingston and Governor Place in Barton (Stages 1 and 3) there were less than 10% 3 bedroom units and they were the last to sell.


How many car parks will be provided?

Car parks will be provided in accordance with the Parking and Vehicle Access General Code available for download here > https://www.legislation.act.gov.au/DownloadFile/ni/2008-27/copy/99551/PDF/2008-27.PDF

Car parking provisions are as follows:

1 bedroom apartment: 1 car space

2 bedroom apartment: 2 car spaces for half of the units, 1 car space for half of the units

3 bedroom apartment: 2 car spaces

Child Care Centre: 1 space/centre plus 2 spaces per 15 child care places for employee parking

Plus visitor parking as follows:

2 spaces : < 30 child care spaces

3 spaces : 30-59 child care spaces

4 spaces : 60-90 child care spaces

Plus 1 pick-up/set-down bay per 10 child care places

Health facility: 4 spaces/practitioner

Guest house: 0.5 spaces/employee plus 1 space/guestroom


There is concern that cars will park in the Captain Cook Crescent median strip during construction. How will this be mitigated?

The proposed development will be staged allowing contractors to park on MPG’s vacant sites during the construction process. Contractor car parking will be managed by the construction team and local Council.


Where will the driveways be located?

The driveways proposed in the Indicative Development Plan are as per the design studies provided by the Suburban Land Agency as part of the auction documents. A traffic engineer will be engaged to confirm appropriate driveway locations in consultation with the Territory.


There is concern that shopping trolleys will be left in the verge. How will this be managed?

Upon completion of the development and occupation of the buildings shopping trolleys will be managed by the Body Corporate and the on-site building manager.


Will MPG be upgrading the Light Street Park?

MPG will not be upgrading the Light Street Park however we are aware that the ACT Government is currently investigating a water main upgrade, paths, lighting and an upgrade to the Light Street Park.


Is the telephone exchange being relocated from the neighbouring block?

MPG is not aware of Tesltra’s plans for the relocation or redevelopment of their block adjoining Block 6 Section 43 Griffith.


Will any trees be retained on site?

Yes. We are proposing to retain all verge trees and some of the high quality trees within each of the development sites. We will also be contributing extensive new landscaping to the three sites to enhance the proposed development.


Will the development be staged?

Yes it is proposed that the development will be undertaken in stages.


When will demolition of the Flats occur?

Demolition of the flats has commenced with completion expected in November or December 2019.


Local Resident

Driveway – should not run across busy footpath. Because of traffic pressure cars coming off Captain Cook Crescent will want to turn quickly and not be focusing on looking out for people on path (less so across cycle path). Active travel use is much higher up transport hierarchy and should be applied here. Better to have entry on Light Street or even Stuart Street where less traffic and less walking and cycling.

See also zero net emissions and transport strategies.

 Go for fewer and not more carparks than required. Other cities are. Young people are not buying cars and car ownership is decreasing. No need to own car in this location.


MPG takes on board this comment and is engaging a Traffic Engineer and a Civil Engineer to undertake a detailed analysis to determine the optimal location for all driveways. Existing and future transport networks and pedestrian safety will be strongly considered in detailed design of the proposed driveway locations. The driveway locations presented at the Community Consultation sessions were specified by the ACT government in the indicative development plan provided during the due diligence stage prior to the auction.

Parking is provided as per the ACT Government Parking and Vehicle Access Code with some additional car spaces proposed for 2 bedroom apartments. We have now received conflicting feedback from other participants of the Community Consultation who have also highlighted a preference for more parking rather than less.


Local Business Owner

Initially the project looks good. It is encouraging that the only commercial units are a childcare and medical centre.


Thank you for your feedback.


Local Resident

Very useful display and very good explanations and graphics.

 It will be good to have the eyesore removed. Manuka already feels safer!

 Good to have some permanent day care available.

 Like the healthcare/doctors

 Plans look good.


Thank you for your feedback.


Local Resident

 Excellent display.

 I have questions about;

 The absorption of Ken Oliphant’s designs for buildings in the area

 The two childcare centres in the area

 The social consequences of the sunless single bedroom apartments.


Through consultation with the design review panel we were strongly encouraged to investigate local examples of brick architecture and to incorporate this style of architecture into the proposed development. We have taken on board the design review panel’s advice and are evolving the designs to reference brick elements to respond to local character. We have used some houses on Evans Crescent as examples of interwar brick architecture however we have not referenced Oliphant’s designs.

We are aware of demand for quality childcare in the area and the proposed development will help to meet that demand. The ACT Government determined that the subject site is suitable for use as a Child Care as reflected in the Crown Lease.

Through our consultation with the design review panel we have evolved our plans for the subject site to achieve the maximum possible solar access for the project. The design review panel are supportive of the design from a solar perspective. The proposed design clearly complies with the ACT Governments solar requirements with the majority benefitting from excellent solar exposure.


Local Resident

The development suits the surrounding landscape and incorporates adequate greenspace.

 Make Manuka great again!


Thank you for your feedback


Local Resident/Local Business Owner

Well presented information – useful layout and good r.e. solar orientation. Good mix of commercial uses for residents (i.e. childcare and medical) Suits young and old.


Thank you for your feedback


Local Resident

Looks good and easy to see how the site will look from street views.


Thank you for your feedback


General Feedback

The consultation provided a detailed overview of the development. It will be good to develop the area – looking forward to the release.


Thank you for your feedback


General Feedback

Good looking, low residential development. The red brick façade is a great idea, although it’d be great to see some re-use of materials incorporated from a sustainable point of view.


Through consultation with the design review panel we have been advised to integrate red bricks into the project to complement surrounding character. From a sustainability perspective the demolition contractor will be recycling materials where possible.


Local Resident

Looking forward to the release. Great site will be a great place to live.


Thank you for your feedback


Local Resident

I am supportive of the development. You will need to deal with the incredible noise that comes from the Telstra exchange. We live 100m-200m away on Evans Crescent and it can be difficult for us. If you are to live 10m to 20m away from the exchange it will be unbearable. I am happy to assist if you need any testimony so show the problem.


Thank you for your feedback, we will be engaging an Acoustic Engineer to undertake testing on site and to determine suitable building materials to ensure residential amenity is not compromised in the proposed buildings.


General Feedback

Look forward to the contribution to revitalising Manuka.

Discussed implications and inability to share service areas.


Thank you for your feedback

Site by Swell Design Group