Geocon loses contract with Kingston Arts Precinct due to lost ‘milestones’, says Barr | Canberra Times

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Geocon failed to meet specific milestones in the contract to supply Kingston Arts Precinct, which led the Suburban Land Agency to part ways with the commercial developer, Chief Minister Andrew Barr said. Barr told the Legislative Assembly on Thursday that the Suburban Land Agency had made the decision to cancel the contract with Geocon during the year, but it could not be predicted due to commercial sensitivities. “The changes were made because the board and agency were not happy, they were not happy. The private partner had not actually reached the milestones in the contract,” Mr Barr said in response to a question from Green Arts. spokeswoman Jo Clay. Sir. Barr pointed to issues of inheritance, input from the National Capital Design Review panel and negotiations with organizations as reasons to tear up the contract with Geocon. The Prime Minister said that the art organizations were informed of the decision to cancel the contract before the media, and they “overwhelmingly commented quite positively that this would see a way through to solve the problems that had arisen, especially during the last eight months” . Sir. Barr said the decision meant the agency would take over the delivery of the fifth phase of the Kingston foreshore redevelopment, which had been led by the agency’s predecessor, the Land Development Agency. Geocon CEO Nick Georgalis on Tuesday avoided questions about the Kingston Arts Precinct and said despite the contract termination, the company was in a good spot. READ MORE: The ACT government revealed on Friday that it had terminated a contract with Geocon for the art field, almost five years after the developer was named the preferred bidder for the site, which was first marketed in 2015. The agency will review the project’s timeline and consult again with the community, but the government hopes it will be completed in 2025, 10 years after the project – which is to include custom-built art facilities alongside residential buildings – was put out to tender. The 40,295 square meter area is the last undeveloped block on Kingston’s Foreshore that surrounds the legacy registered Kingston powerhouse and former transport depot. Key art organizations – including PhotoAccess, ArtSound FM, M16 Artspace, Craft ACT and Canberra Contemporary Artspace – are planning to move to the new area, which will include residential and commercial development. Geocon and the ACT government signed an agreement on the project in July 2019, after lengthy negotiations pushed the planned start of construction back by more than a year. Construction was originally scheduled to begin in early 2019. Our journalists work hard to deliver local, up-to-date news to the local community. Here’s how you can continue to access our trusted content:

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