88 O’Connell St

A Concrete Nightmare


A development of bizarre height and bulk is planned for the former Le Cornu site on O’Connell St by Adelaide City Council who is the developer.

Adelaide City Council purchased the site to control its development, but have discarded a plan created with residents and businesses.

They are proposing 3 towers, up to 16 storeys, looming over its two storey immediate neighbourhood.

A concrete podium covers the whole city block in one monotonous slab.

The Council’s shared plan was a mid-rise mixed development possibly similar to the City’s dynamic East End market redevelopment. Open-spaced and light-filled. The Ergo development in Sturt St is another successful example.

Mixed-use developments of this type are phenomenally successful everywhere:

    They regenerate dead zones

    Are lively areas that generate spinoff economic activity in surrounds

    Support a day and night economy, year-round

   Are areas that people return to frequently, especially younger adults

   Are constantly evolving

   Become iconic destinations by building on existing ambience

   Support strong colonies of small traders

In contrast the proposed structure:

   constitutes huge risk to the economic viability of the street based on long overseas experience:

   Is unlikely to act as a destination as there is little open space.

   Will create compounding effects: cannibalization of businesses and acceleration  of inappropriate building, in a net downward spiral for the street

Whilst there is understandable impatience for action, the community’s proposal is risk-free, and simpler to start, build, and complete. The key consideration is long term benefit.

Vardon Street East End

Vardon Ave East End
Vardon Ave East End