Developer moves to consolidate blocks for Manuka hotel project

Ian Bushnell 8 October 2019 37
Manuka cinema

The Manuka site that will be redeveloped into a seven-storey hotel complex, including a new cinema, restaurant and residential units. Photo: File.

The developer of the proposed Manuka hotel has moved to progress the project, applying to consolidate all of the blocks on Section 96, which includes the Capitol Cinema site, and vary the lease to add commercial accommodation.

Liangis Investments’ proposal for the first stage of its seven-storey hotel development on Block 3 and 4 was given the green light in July after the company successfully challenged the decision of the Conservator of Flora and Fauna to maintain the protected status of a large London plane tree that had been blocking the project.

Construction could be underway by Christmas, and now the family company is paving the way for the rest of the project.

Liangis Investments is seeking to consolidate two Crown leases. The first lease covers Blocks 1, 2, and 5, which will be subject to a separate development application currently being prepared; the second lease covers Blocks 3 and 4, which require a change of lease to allow for the hotel use.

The Stage 1 development application said the Capitol Hotel, designed by Cox Architecture, would have 58 rooms over five levels and include a basement carpark, ground-level lobby and hotel reception, café/restaurant and back-of-house areas.

The proposed hotel development at Manuka

An illustration of the proposed hotel development from the development application. Image: Supplied.

According to the latest application, the project overall will also include a new modern cinema, restaurant, retail and not more than 40 above-ground residential units.

It had been feared that the hotel development would see the demise of a cinema in the inner-south, but John Liangis said in July that the development would include a digitised six-screen complex, with seating from 80 to 120 seats in each space.

The Manuka cinema is part of the Greater Union chain and the Liangis family is negotiating with the company to continue operating the new complex.

The developers also seek the extinguishment of the current electrical easement to facilitate the development, as building over an easement is not permitted in commercial zones.

The application says it is no longer required due to the relocation of the electrical substation on the site to service future development, approved by Evoenergy.

Section 96 is a prime site bounded by Canberra Avenue, Flinders, Franklin and Furneaux streets, and its redevelopment, together with the Stuart Flats urban renewal projects, is being hailed as central to a reinvigorated Manuka Group Centre.


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37 Responses to Developer moves to consolidate blocks for Manuka hotel project
Angella Hopkins Angella Hopkins 6:20 pm 10 Oct 19

At least it’s Cox Architects. I can never forgive them for pulling down the Capitol tho..

HiddenDragon HiddenDragon 8:19 pm 09 Oct 19

The potential benefits for nearby businesses will surely be maximised if the basement carpark provides a truly worthwhile addition to current parking options in Manuka.

If the net effect of this development is to make it less convenient to visit Manuka for people who do not live within strolling distance, then some of the strong public supporters may have second thoughts – which would be a shame for this special part of Canberra.

michael quirk michael quirk 6:21 pm 09 Oct 19

Looks like a new 6 screen cinema is intended but not certain. Let’s hope it occurs

David Vickers David Vickers 10:47 am 09 Oct 19

Well as long as it is better than the current architectural junk shop that is there now.

    Bill Sowry Bill Sowry 9:22 pm 09 Oct 19

    A hotel with no car parks, not to mention blocking the sun for all the al fresco lunching. Perhaps a story or two too much!

Julie Stalker Julie Stalker 7:59 am 09 Oct 19

Can they make it any more worse than it has become? Always appalling architecture ... just miss the original theatre that got pulled down overnight... imagine how stately that would like now in place of this monstrosity and the one to come. Bloody Liangis’ ... their contribution to building history in Canberra is appalling.

Frederica Heacock Frederica Heacock 4:04 am 09 Oct 19

Fabulous! More people and more visitors to help keep this suburban Centre viable for the Manuka businesses!

Jim Jim Jim Jim 10:39 pm 08 Oct 19

What a great outcome seeing funds being poured into quality development, new shops and a cinema. How can this not improve Manuka?

Robert of Braddon Robert of Braddon 10:13 pm 08 Oct 19

A lease variation? Why? Hard to see the public benefit other than to advantage the private development.

Maximus Mandl Maximus Mandl 9:49 pm 08 Oct 19

Being the Sheriffe of Manuka I stand by the mayors rebuttals. Will miss cheap $10 tickets tho

    Jp Romano Jp Romano 9:50 pm 08 Oct 19

    Maximus Mandl hear hear

    Jp Romano Jp Romano 7:23 am 09 Oct 19

    Kate Macklin are you serious? What charm does the current building have?

Gabriel Spacca Gabriel Spacca 9:23 pm 08 Oct 19

Great example of planning and development approvals in this city.

“Can you please approve this development? Oh good thanks. Oh by the way, now you’ve approved this can we just get these few changes approved? Oh thanks. Oh how could we forget, just these last few changes if that’s ok.”

As a recent meme stated; It’s not the lies that I mind, it’s the insult to my intelligence that I resent.

    Jp Romano Jp Romano 9:43 pm 08 Oct 19

    Gabriel Spacca there’s nothing in this DA that the public hasn’t known for the past four years...

    Gabriel Spacca Gabriel Spacca 9:48 pm 08 Oct 19

    Jp Romano Then why is there a need to vary the lease?

    Jp Romano Jp Romano 9:51 pm 08 Oct 19

    Gabriel Spacca to consolidate the blocks?

    Gabriel Spacca Gabriel Spacca 10:58 pm 08 Oct 19

    Jp Romano The article states it was also to add commercial accomodation. Was commercial accommodation part of the original development proposal?

    Jp Romano Jp Romano 11:14 pm 08 Oct 19

    Gabriel Spacca yes. Hotel = Commercial Accommodation...

    Gabriel Spacca Gabriel Spacca 11:24 pm 08 Oct 19

    Jp Romano So why wasn’t it part of the original lease?

    Vander Leal Vander Leal 11:27 pm 08 Oct 19

    I have a feeling saying it'll be a hotel gives you any kind of incentive... Most things we see plan a hotel, changes in the middle then end up as mixed commercial-residential that maybe wouldn't be approved...

    How many hotels were announced lately and changed? Belconnen had three mixed-hotel-residence that ended up as residence+commerce and the next block then will the new hotel... Until it won't...

    Just a deja-vu feeling...

    Jp Romano Jp Romano 11:49 pm 08 Oct 19

    Vander Leal which one in Belconnen? I’ve seen the final plans. Hotel only.

    Frederica Heacock Frederica Heacock 3:57 am 09 Oct 19

    Gabriel Spacca they’ve been very upfront about their plans. This is just standard formality. It’s not even a story The RiotACT you’re just being provocative.

    Frederica Heacock Frederica Heacock 3:58 am 09 Oct 19

    Gabriel Spacca why do you care if it’s mixed purpose residential/hotel? How does it affect you?

Matthew Pez Matthew Pez 7:10 pm 08 Oct 19

That's a bloody terrible idea though, hope they don't approve it.

    Jp Romano Jp Romano 9:45 pm 08 Oct 19

    Perry Matthew why would you wish that on our city?

    Matthew Pez Matthew Pez 10:44 pm 08 Oct 19

    Exactly, our city, not some millionaire developer's city that does whatever they wish with it.

    Jp Romano Jp Romano 11:15 pm 08 Oct 19

    Perry Matthew mate development drives our cities growth and its jobs. Negative people like you cause unrest in the market and stop our city growing.

    Matthew Pez Matthew Pez 11:25 pm 08 Oct 19

    JP Romano you know nothing about me, do not make judgements.

    I'm all for developments, just the right developments. What is your interest in this, are you associated with the developer?

    Jp Romano Jp Romano 11:28 pm 08 Oct 19

    Perry Matthew no. I’m a Manuka local, born and bred. Plus a Manuka business owner. I only want to see what is best for our city and our area and having been privy to the final plans, this is it.

    Matthew Pez Matthew Pez 11:30 pm 08 Oct 19

    JP Romano you are almost replying to every comment on this thread, doing the work of the developer for them.

    So you deny having any financial interest with the developer?

    Jp Romano Jp Romano 11:48 pm 08 Oct 19

    Perry Matthew yes I have zero financial interest. Maybe they bought me a coffee once? I think that’s about all.

    Jp Romano Jp Romano 11:49 pm 08 Oct 19

    Incase you haven’t seen my face in the Canberra times about this I am pretty passionate.

Andrea Lloyd Andrea Lloyd 6:33 pm 08 Oct 19

Liangis family build such ugly buildings. I wish all their planning proposals are turned down. The entire block will be filled with a Liangis monstrosity 🤮🤮🤮

    Jp Romano Jp Romano 9:51 pm 08 Oct 19

    Andrea Lloyd you should see the plans. They look stunning.

Denise Smith Denise Smith 6:22 pm 08 Oct 19

Of cause they will want more.

    Jp Romano Jp Romano 9:43 pm 08 Oct 19

    Denise Smith what do you mean?

    Frederica Heacock Frederica Heacock 4:01 am 09 Oct 19

    Denise Smith more theatres for the public to enjoy or more accommodation to attract more visitors to Manuka so the retail businesses can survive?

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