By ERWIN CHLANDA
Only 30 residential blocks will be built in stage one of the new Kilgariff suburb south of The Gap, Lands Minister Peter Chandler has now confirmed, with blocks to cost from $160,000 to $180,000.
And the developer will be the NT Government’s Land Development Corporation (LDC), after negotiations with two private developers were not successful.
This is similar to the way the Federal government was developing suburbs in Alice Springs in the 1970s, prior to the Territory getting self-government.
Asked whether the smaller scope of the project would result in reduced economies of scale, Mr Chandler said that could be argued.
However, the government wanted to get the development under way, in the face of private companies being “gun shy” in part because of the way the previous government had handled development of residential land.
“We need to give them confidence,” says Mr Chandler. Once the first 30 blocks are sold, the industry would have more confidence in Kilgariff and be more likely take on stage two of 70 blocks.
The LDC would get the $3.5m the government had offered developers as a subsidy to project manage stage one.
Normal tenders would be called and local firms would be able to bid for the work. A third party would be engaged to onset the lots.
Development work – roads, power, water, sewerage – will start this year, blocks will be sold “off the plan” from January and buyers will be able “to call Kilgariff home” by Christmas next year.
The suburb is planned to have some 1200 blocks when fully developed. Earlier proposals were for 100 blocks to be for sale “off the plan” by July this year.
Mr Chandler says the LDC is an experienced developer of land, but mostly for industrial use, such as the Marine Supply Base and the East Arm Port, but it is also building the residential Maluka Views in Palmerston.
He did not rule out involving the LDC in further residential projects if private developers do not meet the government’s price targets for land.
IMAGE: The the initial Kilgariff stage one when 100 blocks were planned.
By ERWIN CHLANDA