Leading South Australian community service provider, Uniting Communities, is submitting plans to the South Australian Development Assessment Commission for its new home, creating a unique social services, residential and community hub in the heart of the city.
The new multi use facility – just north of the Adelaide Central Markets in the CBD – is a building designed and purpose built to welcome all South Australians.
Uniting Communities Chief Executive, Simon Schrapel, said the redevelopment of the existing facility on Franklin Street was an important step in extending the vital community services the organisation offers to South Australians.
“This is a hugely exciting project because of what we believe it will offer the entire community, not just our existing clients, staff, supporters and friends,” said Mr Schrapel. “It is bold and ambitious and will celebrate the enormous diversity and commitment to inclusive community which is a hallmark of Uniting Communities 115-year history.”
“Our accommodation options in the heart of the city for people living with a disability will be a first and we’re proud of what it will offer.”
The $80 million project creates a 20-storey, multi-use building bringing together Uniting Communities’ extensive service offering and also creating specialist disability long-term rental and respite accommodation, along with unique city retirement living and additional office, hospitality and community spaces creating opportunity for intergenerational change in the way these services come together.
The development will incorporate parts of the existing Uniting Communities site on the corner of Pitt and Franklin Streets, the current site of Maughan Church.
“We understand some members of the community will feel concerned about Maughan Church being replaced,” said Mr Schrapel.
“However, in its current state the building’s value to the community has been limited, and it is in need of extensive repairs just to remain usable. What will be created on the site offers a contemporary approach to building a vibrant inner city community.”
“And the church’s legacy will live on in the new building. A place for worship and church activities will be integrated into the new design. We’re also investigating how we can re-use some of the building materials from the church in the new building,” he said.
“A final service to commemorate the site’s history was held at Maughan Church on May 15, which was a wonderful celebration for those who have had a connection with the current building over the past 50 years.”
Mr Schrapel said the new development was driven by evolving and responding to growing community needs.
“The new facility will allow us to reach out and bring together an even wider community in need of our services,” he said. “The multi-use concept including café spaces, and retail and commercial offices in the building not only supports the funding of the project, but it also opens up additional opportunities to partner more broadly with the community and develop relationships with other socially driven individuals and organisations.”
“This is a very exciting time for the South Australian community and Uniting Communities – as an organisation we continue to evolve, and this redevelopment truly reflects that we are here to help anyone in need, now and into the future, while creating jobs and vibrancy in the heart of Adelaide.”
The timing of this new venture is also tremendous for Adelaide and South Australia, estimated to create up to 180 new jobs through the construction phase and more than 30 new ongoing jobs in to the future.
Plans for the redevelopment will be lodged shortly with the Development Assessment Commission, with construction planned to commence in the final quarter of 2016. The development is expected to be completed mid-2018.