The South Australian government has decided to ditch its chosen developers for the Royal Adelaide Hospital redevelopment following an offer that they determined was not representative of the best interests of the state’s taxpayers.
The billion-dollar deal with Infrastructure Partnerships Australia and development consortium Commercial & General and John Holland collapsed after South Australian premier Jay Weatherill said that the proposal failed to put the interests of residents above those of private developers.
Prior to this week, the development team had been in exclusive talks with the state government for the $1-billion redevelopment of the 7-hectare site of the old hospital, located in Adelaide’s central business district. However, the premier announced on Tuesday that the government would be taking back control of the development, resulting in some unsurprisingly furious developers. According to The Australian, there is even speculation that the consortium is considering legal action against the government to the tune of $10 million in compensation.
In his announcement on Tuesday, premier Weatherill said that the government is now planning to return more open and civic space to the site, including an additional two hectares to the Botanic Gardens, education and research facilities, aged-care living and additional commercial tenancies. A number of heritage buildings in the area will also be revitalised with new uses, according to the statement.
“The old Royal Adelaide Hospital site is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in the heart of one of the world’s most liveable cities, so it’s critical that the redevelopment delivers a first-class result for all South Australians,” Weatherill said on Tuesday.
The government now plans to release the old RAH site through a staged development, largely leaving control of the process in the hands of the public. It’s unclear how much this week’s decision will delay redevelopment plans for the site.