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Walker Corporation

Walker’s Riverlea wins retail approval

Walker’s Riverlea wins retail approval

An $80m retail and lifestyle precinct within the $3bn Riverlea housing development in Adelaide’s north has secured development approval, paving the way to the start of construction in October.

The milestone comes amid a surge in sales, with 800 house and land packages sold, and the first residents set to move into the new neighbourhood in early August.

Father-daughter duo Richard and Laura Cornthwaite worked closely together on construction of the “sales and discovery centre”, which has been described as “one of the most advanced sales suites in South Australia”.

Ms Cornthwaite, a project manager on the Riverlea project, said it would officially open to the public in October, offering prospective buyers a hi-tech and interactive view of how the Riverlea neighbourhood would evolve over the next 25 years.

“Typically when you go to a new subdivision or development, you’d see the little Lego Land layout of the development – we’ve invested a lot in technology, and it’s all interactive,” she said.

“We have a lot of touch screens here where you can click in and look at land, you can filter by price and size, you can have a virtual tour of the development. It’s a really interactive sales centre.”

Developer Walker Corporation’s Riverlea masterplan includes 12,000 homes across 1300ha, with four new schools, sporting and community facilities, 450ha of parkland, 50ha of lakes and 42km of recreation trails with bike paths and running tracks.

The retail hub, dubbed Palms Retail Village Centre, will include a childcare centre, supermarket, cafes, medical services, a pilates studio and a gym.

The first tenants are expected to move into the seven-building precinct in the first half of 2023.

Meanwhile about 50 houses are currently under construction as part of the project's first stage.

Mr Cornthwaite, a senior site manager at Riverlea, said a sense of community was already building between future residents.

“I do speak to some of the purchasers out there and there’s a community website about how they can meet their neighbours even though the houses haven’t been built yet,” he said.

“There’s already a big community feel between the purchasers, they’ve all got their Instagram pages and are talking to each other.”

The first tenants are expected to move into the seven-building precinct in the first half of 2023.

Ms Cornthwaite is the SA chapter president of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) – an organisation focused on empowering women in the male-dominated construction industry.

She said the Riverlea project had enabled her to further develop her skills in the industry. And while officially her dad’s boss during construction of the sales centre, it never stopped her from asking for for his advice during the build.

“I’ve been working on this for about 12 months, and then when dad came on board, he’s obviously been in construction for about 49 years,” she said.

“I think he has a wealth of knowledge and experience that I was able to tap into that and get advice and help in delivering the centre.”

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