Tim Gurner set for $1.25bn Adelaide storage facility makeover

Sam Kennard and Tim Gurner at the former Australia Post site in Adelaide.

Luxury entrepreneur Tim Gurner is set to transform an Australia Post building owned by a local storage company into a $1.25bn mixed-use precinct.

The billionaire has struck a deal with a Kennards Self Storage to start major development on top of the 1.37ha site which Australia Post put on the market in the midst of the pandemic’s first year.

The project, at 237 Grote St, Adelaide, will include more than 750 residences with six-star amenities developed across four towers alongside a five-star hotel and a retail space with 15,000sq m in retail, commercial and entertainment space.

The building will have an estimated end value of $1.25bn, with a combined focus on offerings for tourists and locals.

The site will see the Australia Post building repurposed into a storage facility and Kennards’ new headquarters as well as form part of a residential, self-storage and commercial office “supersite” across 11,000sq m of land.

Kennards initiated the deal after the near 50-year-old business purchased the six-level Australia Post building in 2020 under an initial plan to move into the Adelaide CBD.

“Originally we had identified an opportunity to re-purpose the existing building into self-storage and planned to subdivide and sell the surplus land, but Covid-19 allowed us the time to take pause and reflect, and we soon realised the site had the potential to become a city-shaping project,” said chief executive Sam Kennard.

“We approached Gurner as part of a small EOI process and their vision for the site absolutely blew us away – there is no doubt their bold proposal will create a new landmark for Adelaide’s CBD.”

Mr Gurner said the development’s new residents would have access to hotel-like facilities including co-working spaces and private clubs.

“As we do with all our projects, we’ll be prioritising leading amenities for residents – they’ll have access to entertainment, retail and co-working spaces, as well as our signature Private Club offering,” the entrepreneur said.

“The main focus of this city-changing site will be a transformative public realm, that will become a key attraction for the Adelaide CBD,” he added.

Gurner is holding a design competition to find an architect. A development application will follow later in the year.

Mr Gurner dubbed the project “a very significant transaction” in terms of scale and value for the Adelaide market, which he said “reflects the confidence we have in the market and its fundamentals.

“We have been waiting for the right time to enter South Australia, and we think that time is now”.