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Wig and Pen, Vision City and Canberra Club to close?

This morning there was mention on 666 of the imminent closure of these three West Row businesses.  The report/rumour stated that the building is to be redeveloped into office accommodation. 

Does anyone know whether this is an accurate report?

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46 Responses to Wig and Pen, Vision City and Canberra Club to close?
#1
jimbocool11:21 am, 15 Mar 12

The owner of Vision City was interviewed on 666 and said that the managing agent had told them that their lease would not be renewed and that they would have to vacate by October. The reason given is that the owner of the building will demolish Canberra House and redevelop into an office block. The Vision City guy said that the owner of the building used to be the Canberra Club, but they got into financial diffculty a few years back and sold out to the current owner.

#2
Keijidosha12:09 pm, 15 Mar 12

The demise of another concrete bunker will be mourned by few.

#3
fnaah12:14 pm, 15 Mar 12

ooh ooh, can we have another implosion?

#4
cegee12:21 pm, 15 Mar 12

i have heard that all the shops from wig & pen down to the chemist & around to subway aren’t having leases renewed. hopefully 2 before 10 and harvest will be ok!

#5
PM12:21 pm, 15 Mar 12

Why do all my pubs have to close?!?!

#6
Thumper12:42 pm, 15 Mar 12

Keijidosha said :

The demise of another concrete bunker will be mourned by few.

to be replaced by a glass fronted monstrousity exactly like every other new building in this town…

#7
Peekz1:04 pm, 15 Mar 12

That’s got to be a pain for any business, but more so for Wig & Pen given the amount of equipment there. Hopefully they can find a good spot to relocate to.

#8
MERC6001:10 pm, 15 Mar 12

Not quite the city , but I wandered past High Counrty meats in Erindale, and the joint was empty. A legal type sign on the window was on about back rents and other legal speak things.

#9
colourful sydney rac1:18 pm, 15 Mar 12

Thumper said :

Keijidosha said :

The demise of another concrete bunker will be mourned by few.

to be replaced by a glass fronted monstrousity exactly like every other new building in this town…

+1

#10
Duffbowl1:20 pm, 15 Mar 12

PM said :

Why do all my pubs have to close?!?!

Have a chat to the staff; I’m pretty sure they’re looking for a new location on the west side of Civic.

#11
bloke2:13 pm, 15 Mar 12

if Canberra House is the tall building (with Macquarie donut on top) then the Canberra Club is in the 2 storey building (not the tower) alongside, on the first floor and Vision, Wig etc at ground level.

as I understand it, the current owners’ “best option” has been to put a proposal to redevelop the eastern part of the site. Basically …. apply, to whomever you make applications, to utilise the current carpark fronting Hobart Place as a new multistorey 10 to 12 level tower and redevelop (= demolish) the existing 2 storey bit, and replace it with a North facing public park (unlike current parklet at rear, in shadows in winter). It is all about maximising sq metres of floor space on total footprint. . There will probably be underground car parking.

#12
Keijidosha2:35 pm, 15 Mar 12

Thumper said :

Keijidosha said :

The demise of another concrete bunker will be mourned by few.

to be replaced by a glass fronted monstrousity exactly like every other new building in this town…

Ideally we’d have a city centre full of beautiful buildings, but commercial interests dictate that maximising floorspace overrides stylish or decadent architecture. Given the choice between swathes of glass facades or brutalist concrete slabs the former is preferable for many reasons.

#13
EvanJames2:36 pm, 15 Mar 12

Oh yeah, what Civic needs is another office building. I cannot fathom what possesses organisations to move there, do they ever consult with their staff? There’s heaps of vacant entire buildings around the various Airport business districts, and elsewhere around Canberra. Would make more sense to make a residential development.

Canberra House had some very long-standing businesses in it. Vision City, Nunie, the hairdresser, the Chemist… Canberra Goumet deli was great but it’s long-gone. And of course the Canberra Club, which was notorious for not allowing women to become full members, for ages. Peppers was there before the Wig and Pen, the latter making the best beer in the ACT Region.

#14
c_c3:14 pm, 15 Mar 12

It’s accurate, and according to the official website has been in the works since 2010 at least when the government allowed rezoning, including residential development.

Personally I think the two stalinist towers opposite the carpark are more deserving of redevelopment.

In one respect Canbera House does waste a a lot of space by having only 2-3 storeys over much of the block. That said there’s a lot of thriving businesses there that don’t deserve to be booted including two relatively recent coffee shops, one which has et up a micro-roaster.

#15
SnapperJack3:26 pm, 15 Mar 12

Canberra House was never the same after Bogarts Tavern closed in the 1980s. I remember someone saying at the time that the Canberra Club had a swimming pool on the floor directly above Bogarts.

#16
dtc3:27 pm, 15 Mar 12

EvanJames said :

Oh yeah, what Civic needs is another office building. I cannot fathom what possesses organisations to move there, do they ever consult with their staff? There’s heaps of vacant entire buildings around the various Airport business districts, and elsewhere around Canberra. Would make more sense to make a residential development.

Seriously, you think staff want to work out at the airport (one cafe, a subway and no shops, no buses, banks, impossible to ride to) over Civic? Staff don’t even want to move out of Civic to Belconnen or Kingston.

Canberra has a shortage of ‘A class’ office space, although with the proposed APS cuts and the various new buildings (DEEWR, the ASIO building, Nishi etc) I’m not sure if there is a need for more. That said, the developers will know.

And, as I understand it, ‘Bloke’ is correct – the intention is to build over the existing car park and parklet and get rid of the Canberra Club building.

BTW, rumour has is that the Canberra Club used to own what is now Canberra House (the big concrete building) and sold the land in return for permanent peppercorn rent in their current location – which is why the club survives despite no one going there.

#17
bloke3:45 pm, 15 Mar 12

dtc said :

EvanJames said :

BTW, rumour has is that the Canberra Club used to own what is now Canberra House (the big concrete building) and sold the land in return for permanent peppercorn rent in their current location – which is why the club survives despite no one going there.

correct

further to this, the new development will be the closest to the Law Courts and is aimed at creating a “legal precinct” rather than vagaries of fickle Govt tenants.

…. and … the owners of Canberra House – a local property fund, with local investors – are also involved in apartment development – witness the fence around old Marque Hotel on Northbourne; soon to be 6 storeys of ‘inner city living’.

#18
colourful sydney rac3:47 pm, 15 Mar 12

dtc said :

BTW, rumour has is that the Canberra Club used to own what is now Canberra House (the big concrete building) and sold the land in return for permanent peppercorn rent in their current location – which is why the club survives despite no one going there.

They sold it to dig their way out of financial difficulties, it is a shame that it is under patronised as it is actually not a bad place for a beer and a bite to eat.

#19
qbninthecity4:02 pm, 15 Mar 12

dang…hope the chemist is able to find somewhere to relocate in the city west area. i’d rather not have to cross over northbourne when a chemist is needed

#20
dungfungus4:09 pm, 15 Mar 12

colourful sydney racing identity said :

dtc said :

BTW, rumour has is that the Canberra Club used to own what is now Canberra House (the big concrete building) and sold the land in return for permanent peppercorn rent in their current location – which is why the club survives despite no one going there.

They sold it to dig their way out of financial difficulties, it is a shame that it is under patronised as it is actually not a bad place for a beer and a bite to eat.

It used to be a better place to go when one could find somewhere in the near vicinity to park at little or no cost. Also, the annual membership fee of $90 was out of sync with the other clubs.

#21
dungfungus4:12 pm, 15 Mar 12

MERC600 said :

Not quite the city , but I wandered past High Counrty meats in Erindale, and the joint was empty. A legal type sign on the window was on about back rents and other legal speak things.

Go for a drive in Arnott Street (East) in Hume or around the giant warehouses between the CIT and Fyshwick Markets. Almost everything is “For Lease”.

#22
dungfungus4:13 pm, 15 Mar 12

SnapperJack said :

Canberra House was never the same after Bogarts Tavern closed in the 1980s. I remember someone saying at the time that the Canberra Club had a swimming pool on the floor directly above Bogarts.

Ah, those were the days.

#23
colourful sydney rac4:20 pm, 15 Mar 12

dungfungus said :

colourful sydney racing identity said :

dtc said :

BTW, rumour has is that the Canberra Club used to own what is now Canberra House (the big concrete building) and sold the land in return for permanent peppercorn rent in their current location – which is why the club survives despite no one going there.

They sold it to dig their way out of financial difficulties, it is a shame that it is under patronised as it is actually not a bad place for a beer and a bite to eat.

It used to be a better place to go when one could find somewhere in the near vicinity to park at little or no cost. Also, the annual membership fee of $90 was out of sync with the other clubs.

membership is about $10….

#24
Frustrated5:07 pm, 15 Mar 12

MERC600 said :

Not quite the city , but I wandered past High Counrty meats in Erindale, and the joint was empty. A legal type sign on the window was on about back rents and other legal speak things.

Not surprised to hear this, I stopped shopping there a years ago. Especially when I heard the woman who worked there, was skimming the proceeds!

The quality of the meat and the prices going also turned me off.

#25
deye5:19 pm, 15 Mar 12

dungfungus said :

Go for a drive in Arnott Street (East) in Hume or around the giant warehouses between the CIT and Fyshwick Markets. Almost everything is “For Lease”.

Yes, yet they ask for rent that is high.

#26
dungfungus6:00 pm, 15 Mar 12

colourful sydney racing identity said :

dungfungus said :

colourful sydney racing identity said :

dtc said :

BTW, rumour has is that the Canberra Club used to own what is now Canberra House (the big concrete building) and sold the land in return for permanent peppercorn rent in their current location – which is why the club survives despite no one going there.

They sold it to dig their way out of financial difficulties, it is a shame that it is under patronised as it is actually not a bad place for a beer and a bite to eat.

It used to be a better place to go when one could find somewhere in the near vicinity to park at little or no cost. Also, the annual membership fee of $90 was out of sync with the other clubs.

membership is about $10….

Thanks for that update; I’ll rejoin right away. Do you have any tips on cheap or free parking in the vicinity too?

#27
Bramina10:24 pm, 15 Mar 12

Keijidosha said :

Thumper said :

Keijidosha said :

The demise of another concrete bunker will be mourned by few.

to be replaced by a glass fronted monstrousity exactly like every other new building in this town…

Ideally we’d have a city centre full of beautiful buildings, but commercial interests dictate that maximising floorspace overrides stylish or decadent architecture. Given the choice between swathes of glass facades or brutalist concrete slabs the former is preferable for many reasons.

Greater density is definitely a good thing, and its benefits are far greater than any aesthetic costs (as much as I hate ugly buildings).

I just hope that someone doesn’t have the old ugly building heritage listed because they are valuable because the last of their type. But the reason they are the last of their type is that they are so unvaluable because they are ugly.

#28
M0les10:28 pm, 15 Mar 12

Somewhat mixed emotions about this.

The building’s just about had it, IMHO. The top-floor pool (Yes, you can see it through the glass roof on Google Maps) always used to leak and/or flood through the club. There have been two evacuations recently due to variously bad buildings ops incidents.

However this is the original site for The Canberra Club, once second only to The Commonwealth Club for swank exclusivity (right-up to “no women allowed without invite” some time ago). The wood-panelled foyer is still very impressive (The rest of the club’s a bit tired though). Then there’s the Wig and Pen, of course – hopefully they’ll relocate to Weston Creek!

#29
GardeningGirl11:07 pm, 15 Mar 12

dtc said :

EvanJames said :

Oh yeah, what Civic needs is another office building. I cannot fathom what possesses organisations to move there, do they ever consult with their staff? There’s heaps of vacant entire buildings around the various Airport business districts, and elsewhere around Canberra. Would make more sense to make a residential development.

Seriously, you think staff want to work out at the airport (one cafe, a subway and no shops, no buses, banks, impossible to ride to) over Civic? Staff don’t even want to move out of Civic to Belconnen or Kingston.

Just speaking for myself the airport and Kingston tick more boxes than Civic. (Isn’t there an airport bus service at the moment? There used to be when I was a kid, surely there’s even more reason to have one now.) I’m inclined to agree residential makes more sense. I hope those businesses find somewhere else suitable for them.

#30
gazket11:12 pm, 15 Mar 12

it’s making way for the new Aboriginal and union embassy

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