Australia’s most innovative mixed-use development celebrates genuine and tangible community inclusion

In the making for the past three years, Australia’s most innovative mixed-use development – U City – is about to officially open its doors in the heart of the Adelaide CBD tomorrow, Tuesday, August 6.

The $100 million development has literally broken new ground with its unconventional approach to planning and uses within the 20-storey high-rise building, in the heart of Adelaide on the corner of Franklin and Pitt streets.

Uniting Communities’ Chief Executive, Simon Schrapel says he’s extremely proud of the U City development and what it says about how a community – of all abilities – can genuinely and practically, live together.

“As a social services agency, for more than 118 years we have supported a broad range of South Australians with a disparate range of needs and issues. We’re also a local business, a local employer and we’re also part of the CBD community,” he says.

“Key to the design and development of U City was our firm held belief that a genuine community can – and should – accommodate everyone.

“Why shouldn’t long-term and short disability housing be available in the middle of a city’s vibrancy? Why couldn’t retirement living also be offered in the same building close to the theatre precinct and the Central Markets? Why couldn’t a development include all of this, plus premium office accommodation, first-class event spaces and exciting retail offerings?

“The short answer was, it could … and U City does!” says Mr Schrapel.

Topped off with six floors of Australia’s first high-rise, CBD retirement living – and offering 41 apartments – U City also features:

  • Adelaide’s first purpose-built specialist disability accommodation with state-of-the-art assistive technology in 21, one and two-bedroom apartments designed to offer residents maximum control and independence.
  • A bespoke short-stay ‘hotel’ facility equipped for people living with a disability, incorporating 18 specialist one to three-bedroom apartments.
  • A purpose-built function and conference facility with a fully serviced, commercial kitchen operated in tandem with South Australian catering specialists, Blanco Horner, together with a conference capacity for more than 200 participants.
  • New purpose-built service suites and clinics to accommodate Uniting Communities’ extensive range of social services. U City will now be home to a full range of community and consumer law services, a youth health medical clinic, allied health services, financial, personal and family counselling, mental health and alcohol and drug support services.
  • Adelaide’s first Changing Place facility operating 24×7 and delivering a venue for those living with a disability requiring toilet and changing facilities in the inner city.
  • Two floors of A Grade, 5 Star Nabers rated commercial quality accommodation which will be the new home for leading legal firm Finlaysons from mid-2020.
  • End of trip facilities for bike riders and electric vehicle charging points.
  • A new culinary and retail precinct for Adelaide’s Market District with the establishment of a boutique Goodwill outlet, a new fresh offering from Pitt Street Coffee Shop and the relocation of a dining icon, Luigi Delicatessen to ensure food and beverage options from morning to evening.
  • Specially commissioned art and sculpture pieces from leading SA artists will feature throughout the building’s various internal and external public spaces.
  • Adelaide’s greenest design building rated at Green Star 6 ensuring an environmentally friendly footprint.

Designed by global architects Woods Bagot, and constructed by leading Australian construction group, Built, U City was recently announced as the joint winner of the Leading Housing Development Project Award at South Australia’s 2019 Australasian Housing Institute (AHI) Professional Excellence in Housing Awards.

Woods Bagot Director, Thomas Masullo says creating a flexible and adaptable building to deliver the best quality social services meant tailoring the design to the greatest needs across the demographic spectrum of the Adelaide community.

“If you design a space for everybody it will work for nobody, but if you craft a space that allows diversity to thrive, then you’re creating an environment to celebrate those differences,” says Mr Masullo.

Built Managing Director, Brett Mason says delivering this ground-breaking retirement living and mixed-use facility in the heart of Adelaide CBD has been hugely challenging, but the type of work Built thrives on.

“U City is unlike any other project in Australia and has required a new and unique approach to complex constructability assessment with innovation and sustainability strategies to deliver it. We’re very proud to have been a part of the project with our many construction partners to set a new bar in mixed use development”.

Uniting Communities will commence operations from the new Franklin Street site from tomorrow, Tuesday August 6.

“We were determined to challenge conventional thinking with this development, and despite the design and functional challenges that it posed for us, we stayed true to that vision and we are now delighted with the result,” says Mr Schrapel.

“More importantly, we also hope that U City will lead by example and others may start to think differently about what’s possible in developments in bringing a community together.”

For comment

Simon Schrapel – Chief Executive
0411 643 132

MEDIA ENQUIRIES:

Leigh McClusky – McCo Group
0411 711 780 or leigh@mccogroup.com.au