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Why Denman Prospect could be Canberra’s next ‘must live’ suburb

Amanda Whitley

At least twice a year for the past 10 years or so, I have tried to convince my country-dwelling sister to move to Canberra. So far, without success…but, you know, I don’t give up so easily.

On her latest trip a couple of weeks ago, she said, ‘look, I could almost be persuaded…but there’s nowhere in Canberra that you can build a new house that’s not in some kind of ‘Truman Show’ cookie cutter suburb miles from the city.’

‘Aha!’ I said, ‘but there is! They’re releasing land blocks out near the Arboretum, just by the Molonglo River, and 10 minutes to the CBD. If I hadn’t spent the last nine years of my life renovating our current house, I’d be there with bells on!’

More than half the blocks in the first stage at Denman Prospect have already been sold and 200 homes are already in the planning stage. The first public auction was strongly contested with prices reflecting the quality of the land on offer and recent sales in adjacent suburbs in Molonglo Valley.

The Denman Prospect development in progress.

The Denman Prospect development in progress.

 

While my sister hasn’t yet packed her bags and put her country home up for sale, I still hold out hope that perhaps this might be the thing that convinces her to up stumps from the Riverina and come live near me. Anyhow, Lindi, if you’re reading this, here are 10 reasons why Denman Prospect could very well be Canberra’s next ‘must live’ suburb.

Reasons 1 to 4: The National Arboretum (and all it offers)

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The National Arboretum is on Denman’s doorstep, and is more than just a beautiful place to watch the world go by. Here’s why…

You can experience one of the world’s largest living collections of rare, endangered and significant trees; marvel at the winner of the World Architecture Festival for landscape; or enjoy a free guided tour of the Village Centre and marvel at the miniature living artworks in the National Bonsai and Penjing Collection. Explore the forests and lookouts, pull up a rug at one of the picnic spots, admire the outdoor sculptures, or walk and cycle the many trails.

The Pod Playground at the National Arboretum

For families, the Arboretum is home to the unique nature-themed Pod Playground where children play in giant acorn cubby houses and banksia pods. The latter contain awesome musical instruments that engage little ones for hours, and if music isn’t their thing, then they are sure to be amused playing in the sand.

If you’re more into food, Chef Janet Jeffs’ The Conservatory Restaurant offers contemporary Australian cuisine with a focus on regionally-sourced, organic and biodynamic produce, heirloom meats, seasonal vegetables and fruits, and sustainable sea and fresh water foods. The cuisine is as stunning as the views.

Lastly, the Arboretum is home to The Curatoreum. This amazing hidden gem is filled to the brim with beautifully curated books, homewares, gardening gifts, stationery and Australian designer items—all which mirror the botanical theme of its surroundings.

Reason 5: Molonglo River

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There are so few places in Canberra where you can live just minutes away from the water. Having grown up splashing in our grandparents’ creek and, later, swimming in the Murrumbidgee River, I am très jealous of future Denman residents. Just imagine barbeques, picnics and walking trails connecting Denman to Cravens Creek and onto the Molonglo River corridor. The other thing that is incredible is just how close Denman is to Uriarra Crossing. An easy 10-minute drive and you and the family are at one of the best playgrounds on the Murrumbidgee River, right at the foothills to the amazing Brindabella ranges.

Reason 6: Stromlo Forest Park

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Our family loves this place. We often pack up the bikes and head out for a ride, or a walk or run. We’re not so much into horses, but Stromlo Forest Park has world class equestrian facilities as well as cycling and running tracks and a range of trails to explore. A major swimming pool complex is also being planned, which will really make this a one stop shop for active Canberrans.

Reason 7: The views

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Our house is at the top of a hill next to a reserve and my home office window looks out over parts of Canberra. I can’t tell you how calming it is to be able to peer out and see open spaces. Locations like this don’t come up very often (which is why we bought this place when I was six months pregnant with our first child, and moved in when I was eight months gone. Madness.)

Denman’s position promises sweeping views of the Molonglo Valley corridor, the Arboretum, the lake and city beyond. The undulating land is reminiscent of some of the older, established suburbs in Canberra (think Deakin, Garran and O’Malley), and the views some of the higher blocks of land will be truly spectacular.

Reason 8: Community

I love how there’s a continuing movement towards creating communities, rather than just suburbs full of houses, in new parts of Canberra. Denman will have its own local shops, as well as being directly adjacent to the future Molonglo Valley Town Centre, and has two proposed school sites. There are also plans for public art, a natural amphitheatre, ponds and pocket parks to make use of the abundant outdoor recreational areas, and all being constructed by the same group that redeveloped Canberra Airport

Denman is also the first entire suburb in Australia to commit to Homes for Homes, a not-for-profit scheme which builds affordable housing for those in need and helps to reduce homelessness. This means that 0.1% of the sale proceeds of all land sold will go to towards more affordable housing for the needy.

Reason 9: It’s environmentally conscious

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Denman will be Australia’s first suburb to have a minimum requirement for solar installation on all dwellings. Every house in Denman will possess a 3kW system that will generate approximately 4000kW of clean electricity, reducing annual emissions from fossil-fuelled generation electricity by approximately 3.7 tonnes per house, which is equal to removing one average family car off the road per year.

Reason 10: Location, location, location

It’s close to everything. This very well could be Canberra’s most central suburb: six minutes to Cooleman Court, 10 minutes to Belconnen, 10 minutes to the City, and nine minutes to Woden. Could this be the end of Canberra’s famed north-south divide?!?!

Want to know more?

You can find out more about the development at capitalestatedevelopments.com.au. The second auction for 25 prime blocks at Denman Prospect will be conducted at 10am on Sunday 29 November at the National Convention Centre – register for the auction online.  Prospective buyers must be registered beforehand.

This will be the last opportunity this year to purchase a site at Denman Prospect and guarantee being able to start building in March next year (in your own home by next Christmas!)

The first public auction was strongly contested.

The first public auction was strongly contested.

Want to see the blocks?

The only opportunity to see the blocks before the auction—and the last site inspection for the year—is being held from 6pm to 7:30pm next Wednesday 25 November, 2015. For OHS compliance, visitors must register for the tour at www.capitalestatedevelopments.com.au/tour.

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Amanda Whitley

Amanda Whitley is the founder and director of HerCanberra. In her 'spare time', she instructs zumba, loves to cook (and eat), and wrangles two gorgeous little girls. She's done everything from present the tv news to operate a stop and go sign and is passionate about connecting Canberra women. More about the Author

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