The transformation of the old Royal Adelaide Hospital site will be one of the largest redevelopments of its type in the State’s history, creating thousands of jobs and generating an estimated $7.5 billion of economic activity.

The Royal Adelaide redevelopment will feature four distinct yet intertwined quarters:

  • A Garden Quarter featuring more than 2ha of land transferred to the Adelaide Botanic
  • A University and Innovation Quarter including multiple universities collaborating with
    incubators, start-ups, financiers, businesses and social organisations.
  • A Culture and Tourism Quarter strengthening Adelaide’s reputation as a global cultural
    and tourism destination.
  • A Living Quarter catering for vibrant, student-centred facilities through to aged-care

The redevelopment is expected to generate more than $1 billion in private investment, as well as 1000 jobs per annum during construction and 2,900 jobs on site when finished.

The Government investment is approximately $200 million and will mainly be used for demolition, remediation and site activation.

Once completed, more than 9,300 people a day will work, visit or live in the precinct.

Importantly, 70 per cent of the old RAH site will be publicly accessible, compared with just 38 per cent currently open to public use.

The project involves more than 25 stakeholders including the University of Adelaide, University of South Australia, Carnegie Mellon University and the Botanic Gardens.

The Government will now enter into exclusive negotiations with the preferred proponents - a consortium of South Australian property group Commercial & General and infrastructure and property company John Holland.

The proposal in detail

The Garden Quarter will take up almost a third of the 7ha site, involving the demolition of the unsightly East Wing, with the land transferred to the Adelaide Botanic Garden. The proposal would increase the size of the Botanic Garden lake and include a new entry statement.

The University and Innovation Quarter will contain a world-class research centre - a state-ofthe-art campus linking the education sector with technology leaders, start-ups, businesses, entrepreneurs and social organisations.

  • The University of Adelaide is proposing to partner with developers on an Adelaide Innovation Accelerator, where start-ups, early-stage firms, established businesses, researchers and students could interact.
  • The University of South Australia is considering a number of clustered initiatives, including a Global Centre for Carbon Neutral Cities, stimulating green jobs and generating tourism income from the rapidly growing green conference sector; and a Creative Digital Industries Innovation Hub - a high-tech lab linking to the new CBD High School to help channel the next generation of young people into the industry sectors of the future.
  • International university Carnegie Mellon may also relocate into the heritage McEwin Building.

The Culture and Tourism Quarter will reuse heritage-listed buildings on North Terrace. A new 5-star hotel is also envisaged as part of the project, along with new public spaces including a North Terrace plaza, laneways and a European-style piazza.

The Living Quarter will cater for all generations, including a mix of leasehold apartments, shared student accommodation and a state-of-the-art aged care facility. It will feature approximately 1080 apartments, including 150 affordable student dwellings and 60 supported residential care dwellings.

The old RAH site has also been identified as a possible location for a new South Australian cultural institution which is being investigated by a Steering Group.

The State Government will undertake an extensive community engagement process to ensure all South Australians to have their say about how this site is transformed into a world class precinct.


The vision for the old Royal Adelaide Hospital site reflects years of planning, design and public consultation, following the announcement that a new Royal Adelaide Hospital would be built in the city’s West End.

In 2007, the Government revealed a portion of the site would be transferred to the Botanic Garden, noting the land which was annexed for the hospital in the middle of last century.

The Government also flagged its intention to retain the heritage buildings and noted many of the other buildings were “ugly and past their use-by date”.

In 2009, a ‘Federation Square-style “green plaza”’ was touted as a possible feature to create open public areas.

In 2010, the State Government and Adelaide City Council returned a 1.7ha carpark to the Park Lands, south of the Royal Adelaide Hospital site.

In 2013, a design competition was held for the Royal Adelaide Hospital site - the winning entry envisaging student accommodation, plazas and open space, and an art gallery, as well as retaining the ageing East Wing building for a new high school.

Under the preferred proposal revealed today, the East Wing building will be demolished and the land transferred to Botanic Garden. A new city high school will be built in the more appropriate Reid Building, south of hospital precinct site.

Last year, the State Government called for expressions of interest to transform the Royal Adelaide Hospital precinct into a site of international significance.

The consortium has been identified as the preferred proponent allowing the Government to begin exclusive negotiations.

The consortium will now work with Renewal SA on a master plan for the site with public consultation to begin later this year.

Demolition works will start as soon as the hospital is vacated.

Quotes attributable to Premier Jay Weatherill

This is an historic announcement for our city’s main boulevard and the botanic gardens.

The ugly 1960s-era East Wing building will become a beautiful, green garden in the city.

It’s a win for those who have advocated for a large amount of this site to be returned as open space.

One of the most important elements of this project has always been to reclaim a substantial part of the old hospital site for open space and to open up a part of the city which is presently almost entirely inaccessible to the general public.

The old Royal Adelaide Hospital site is one of Adelaide’s most prominent locations and provides a rare opportunity to transform and enhance the city’s East End for the benefit of all South Australians.

We believe the proposal provided by the preferred proponent meets all of the expectations of the community.

Importantly, this plan recognises the importance of maintaining day and night activity on the site, replacing the people lost by the relocation of the RAH and helping to sustain and grow economic activity in the East End.

This proposal could play host to a multitude of small to medium enterprises, co-located with the best and brightest minds from across Adelaide, working together for the future of South Australia.

This University and Innovation Quarter will complement the State Government’s $250 million investment in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths facilities in South Australian schools.

Quotes attributable to Housing and Urban Development Minister Stephen Mullighan

This precinct will be an economic driver, reflecting South Australia’s transitioning economy and developing new industries which will result in thousands of new jobs.

It will breathe new life into the city’s East End, with a mixed-use precinct which not only opens the site to the public and reclaims precious land, but also fosters innovation and healthy living while generating billions of dollars in valuable economic activity.

The design is respectful of the Park Lands setting of the site while providing opportunities for events and entertainment, meeting spaces, work and living to continue attracting thousands of people to the East End site day and night.

The Government’s $55 million Budget investment to deliver the AdeLINK tram extension will provide a vital link to this East End site, which will also contain a network of laneways and shared use paths linking to surrounding precincts.

Quotes attributable to Commercial and General Chief Executive Jamie McClurg

We are excited and honoured to have been selected as the preferred proponent to deliver this truly transformational project for the city of Adelaide and the people of South Australia.

This precinct is a public asset – it is owned by the people of this State, and we believe our vision is respectful of that on every level and particularly why 70% of the space in our vision is publicly accessible.

We want to deliver a project that is focused around a knowledge and innovation hub which will ultimately be a global showcase of South Australia’s thought leadership – a showcase of the future of how we live, how we learn, how we celebrate our arts and culture and how we use and honour our environment.

Of course, the release of the vision is just the first step – it will now go through extensive consultation to ensure we get the best balance of outcomes.

Quotes attributable to University of Adelaide Vice-Chancellor Warren Bebbington

The University of Adelaide’s proposed Adelaide Innovation Accelerator will build on the university’s reputation as a national leader in the commercialisation of research and accelerating knowledge.

Bringing together researchers, entrepreneurs and industry in a university innovation hub will create a world-class epicentre of innovation and research.

Quotes attributable to University of South Australia Vice-Chancellor David Lloyd

We look forward to working with the State Government and with Commercial & General to ensure that this unique site is populated with industry-facing UniSA research and innovation activities that will attract investment and support the growth of industries and jobs of the future.

We also want to work with the adjacent CBD High School and other local schools, to maximise the number of young South Australians who are qualified in the STEM subjects required to work in these technology focused sectors