Sam Kennard and Tim Gurner
Sam Kennard and Tim Gurner at the site, previously owned by Australia Post. Image supplied
  • Represents Gurner's first project in South Australia
  • The partnership with Kennards Self Storage is the first of its kind in Australia
  • A design competition is underway for a lead architect

As part of its rapid expansion across the Australian residential market, developer Gurner has secured its first South Australian site through a joint venture with Kennards Self Storage.

The 1.7-hectare site at 237 Grote Street, Adelaide – which is currently owned by Kennard  – will become a mixed-use precinct housing over 750 residences, a five-star hotel and over 15,000 sqm in commercial and retail space, along with entertainment, recreation components and a public plaza.

The estimated end value of the project is expected to be in the vicinity of $1.25 billion. As part of the developer’s Greener by Gurner initiative, the project in Adelaide will be carbon neutral.

The precinct will also become the headquarters of Kennards in South Australia.

Part of the site is a 24,000 sqm six-level building that was originally constructed for Australia Post as a mail distribution centre for the CBD. Given technological changes, the asset become obsolete, forcing Australia Post to put the property onto the market.

Breaking ground

Sam Kennard and Tim Gurner. Image supplied.

The strategic partnership between the developer and the self-storage space player is the first of its kind in Australia. The announcement also comes as Adelaide was named the world’s third-most liveable city by The Economist last year.

Gurner chief executive officer, Tim Gurner, said the team is excited to be partnering with Kennards and noted the ambition of the project, given such a partnership hasn’t occurred before.

Mr Gurner also said he is keen to bring new life into Adelaide.

“The main focus of this city-changing site will be a transformative public realm, that will become a key attraction for Adelaide CBD,” he said.

“We certainly see Adelaide as one of Australia’s cultural epicentres – it’s an amazing city and we are looking forward to delivering something special there, and continuing to push the boundaries in not just the residential space but across service, amenity, hospitality and lifestyle.

“This is a very significant transaction in terms of scale and value for the Adelaide market, which reflects the confidence we have in the market and its fundamentals – we have been waiting for the right time to enter South Australia, and we think that time is now.

Tim Gurner, Gurner CEO

“We are always inspired by our amazing partners – the work of Sam (Kennard) and his family over the generations is simply incredible, and we look forward to this being the first of many great partnerships together.”

Kennards Self Storage chief executive officer Sam Kennard said when the site was originally purchased in 2020, they had seven existing locations across Adelaide but had been searching for the “right” CBD location for many years.

“Originally we had identified an opportunity to re-purpose the existing building into self-storage and planned to subdivide and sell the surplus land, but COVID allowed us the time to take pause and reflect, and we soon realised the site had the potential to become a city-shaping project,” said Mr Kennard.

“We approached Gurner as part of a small EOI process and their vision for the site absolutely blew us away – there is no doubt their bold proposal will create a new landmark for Adelaide’s CBD.

Sam Kennard, Kennard CEO

“We are delighted to be partnering with such a forward-thinking developer with whom we can collaborate and create a unique precinct for Adelaide and a first for our industry at the same time.”

Although there is no permit in place, current planning controls and zoning allow for Gurner and Kennards to proceed with the mixed-use development.

A design competition is underway to appoint a lead architect, with the development application scheduled to be lodged by the end of the year.

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