Boiler House at Tonsley to become social and entertainment hub of southern Adelaide region

A unique opportunity to be part of Tonsley Innovation District is open with the release of an Expression of Interest for a hospitality business in the precinct’s iconic Boiler House.

Renewal SA is calling for microbrewers, distillers, restaurateurs and café operators to submit proposals for operations out of the Boiler House.

The unique 1960s building will provide a focal point for businesses, employees, students, visitors and the wider community of Tonsley, which has become Australia’s first and most awarded innovation district.

“The Boiler House is envisaged to be Tonsley Innovation District’s most popular meeting, entertainment and retail place and a hospitality destination for the southern Adelaide region,” said Tonsley Project Director, Daniel Redden.

“The adaptive reuse of this unique 1960s building into a microbrewery, distillery, restaurant or cafe, provides another opportunity to honour the industrial heritage of the site that creates Tonsley’s iconic character,” said Mr Redden,

In addition to submissions from hospitality operators, developers are being sought to redevelop the building and its landscaped surrounds to leverage the success of the adaptive reuse of the adjacent MAB and Tonsley TAFE developments.

The Boiler House was built in the 1960s and has retained its industrial and functional character. Its plant was integral to car manufacturing at Tonsley, the former home of Mitsubishi and Chrysler, as it pumped steam and electricity into the Main Assembly Building (MAB) via an overhead gantry, which has been retained.


The Boiler House is in a prime location within Tonsley Innovation District, neighbouring the massive Main Assembly Building or MAB which is the hub of high-value manufacturing in South Australia. It is within walking distance of Flinders University and TAFE SA campuses and the Clovelly Park railway station. A number of businesses have also established in separate premises at Tonsley, which has a total of about 1200 employees – more than when Mitsubishi finished manufacturing on site in 2008.

In 2018, work will start on a residential development to build 850 homes for 1,200 residents within the district, which will be built to 21st century and design guidelines. Further retail developments are planned for the area surrounding the Boiler House, including a supermarket as anchor tenant, speciality stores and services such as a fitness centre.

Those interested in finding out more about the Boiler House Adaptive Reuse EOI or lodging a submission should visit

The EOI offer closes on 11 December 2017.


Business First is a peer-to-peer magazine: written by CEOs and other high level executives, with interviews with some of the country’s best leaders.

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