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Founders Lane: A new beginning for Canberra City

Laura Peppas

Despite Braddon and Civic’s bustling atmosphere, the space between the two areas is anything but; with petrol stations, sprawling parking lots and little else.

Enter Founders Lane, a new precinct set to boost the connectivity between the two city hotspots in a big way.

Situated between the Canberra Centre and the iconic Gorman House, the precinct will be an eclectic blend of apartment living, quiet cafes, quirky Canberra pop-ups, big brands and community greenspaces, all at the city’s doorstep.

With over 700 apartments across four buildings, the development will be released in four stages, with the entire precinct expected to be completed in 2020.

Developers JWLand describes Founders Lane as a “welcoming space with a village atmosphere,” and a melting pot for local artists, makers and entrepreneurs alike.

“Founders Lane has been designed by Canberrans for Canberra, which makes this project pretty special,” JWLand Head of Development, Michael Prendergast.

“Everyone in the project team lives in Canberra – the architects, the interior designer, the builder, the development manager – so we all know this area well.

“The location of the site is quite unique with the city on one side and suburban Braddon and Reid on the other sides. This convergence of urban and suburban living has been reflected in the design of the precinct.”

Inspired by nature, the precinct’s design will incorporate a range of sustainability features, including rooftop solar panels and rainwater recycling systems.

There will also be a north-facing communal rooftop garden where residents can grow their own herbs and vegetables and get to know their neighbours while they’re working together in the garden.

Apartments will include one, two and three bedroom units, many with picturesque views of nearby Mount Ainslie, starting from $350,000.

To help provide a gateway to Braddon, there will be an upgrade of pedestrian paths and public landscaping around the site, where residents will be able to walk or cycle from Cooyong Street through a landscaped, pedestrian-friendly green link through to Currong Street.

The precinct will also include a new 70-place childcare centre with indoor and outdoor play spaces.

Michael says JWLand will partner with the Ainslie and Gorman Arts Centre to provide support for the local arts community and assist with the upkeep of two of Canberra’s most iconic heritage buildings, Gorman House and Ainslie Arts Centre. As for the name of the precinct, Michael says it draws inspiration from the history of the suburb and pays homage to Canberra’s founders, past and present.

“A founder is someone who starts something new – founders aren’t traditional, they seek out ideas and forge new paths, you need them for new beginnings,” he says.

“You need them for new beginnings. Founders Lane is a new beginning for Canberra’s city centre and the name symbolises the transformational aspect of the project.

“We’ve collaborated with a number of local business owners and local makers to put this project together and it’s been wonderful hearing their stories and seeing the passion they have for what they do.” 

the essentials

What: Founders Lane
Where: You can visit the new Founders Lane display gallery at 59 Currong Street North in Braddon
When: Stage one due to be completed in mid-2019, while the entire precinct is due to be completed in 2020
How much: One bedroom apartments start from $350,000

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Laura Peppas

Laura Peppas is HerCanberra's senior journalist and communications manager and is the Editor of Unveiled, HerCanberra's wedding magazine. She is enjoying uncovering all that Canberra has to offer, meeting some intriguing locals and working with a pretty awesome bunch of women. Laura has lived in Canberra for most of her life and when she's not writing fervently she enjoys pursuing her passion for travel, reading, online shopping and chai tea. More about the Author