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Geocon lodges fresh plans for $70m city hotel project

Ian Bushnell 5 July 2019 90
Canberra City Luxury Hotel

The Garema Place frontage for Geocon’s Canberra City Luxury Hotel. Images from the DA.

Geocon has again amended its proposal for its Canberra City Luxury Hotel project in Garema Place to address concerns about overshadowing, parking and noise.

This is the fourth iteration of the almost $70 million mixed-use development which Geocon says will revitalise the city centre.

In May, the company unveiled its third version for pre-DA consultation, and has now addressed some of the concerns in a new development application.

Geocon is seeking to consolidate the Crown lease for Block 1 Section 47 City with the Crown lease for Block 5 Section 47 City, with the up to 11-storey development designed by Fender Katsalidis Architecture incorporating the historic Gus’s Cafe.

The new proposal cuts the number of apartments from 215 to 212, provides more office space to generate day traffic, increases parking to 90 spaces and scales back the upper levels to reduce overshadowing on to Garema Place during mid-winter.

Geocon says it has also addressed minor comments about noise and will continue to respond to feedback on the project website.

It says the proposed development will include the hotel, three basement levels and a mezzanine level, including two levels of offices, ground floor restaurants and basement venues for public and private events.

The development from Bunda Street.

There will be 11 storeys fronting Bunda Street, cascading back to six to nine storeys on Garema Place. The hotel lobby and an expanded Gus’s Brasserie, which Geocon says will be a hallmark of the development, will face Bunda Street, with another hotel entrance and eateries on Garema Place.

Geocon says it will be an iconic building that will deliver a vibrant mixed-use precinct, with the hotel including a multi-use ballroom, multi-use spaces located in the basement for comedy, live music, and other events. The company has been actively supporting the music industry in its efforts to ensure noise complaints do not see live venues shut down.

A signature restaurant will be sited on Level 7. Fronting both Bunda Street to the north and Garema Place to the south, the proposed rooftop will be a ‘hive of activity’ with an external roof terrace, large swimming pool, bar, outdoor lounging and seating areas and outdoor fitness areas including a gymnasium, as well as another restaurant.

“The proposed alfresco dining on Bunda Street and more importantly Garema Place, will transform the space and encourage more activity in this precinct,” the proposal says.

It says the provision of alfresco seating, low level wind protection, and lightweight retractable awnings and umbrellas, including heating and lighting, will set a precedent for the city.

“The renewed interest from the proposed development will invite pedestrians to come into, move through and most importantly stay within the Garema Place public realm and promote engagement with adjoining shops, cafes, restaurants, bars and businesses,” the proposal says.

Geocon, which owns and operates the Iconic Hotels group (formerly Abode), bought the Garema Centre building at 70 Bunda Street (Block 5 Section 47) in September 2017 for $13.35 million. It then acquired Block 1 Section 47.


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90 Responses to Geocon lodges fresh plans for $70m city hotel project
Mark Prevost Mark Prevost 8:07 pm 24 Oct 19

It’s a space that just begs to be the civic space that the whole of the City Walk- Garema place currently isn’t.
Any attempt to increase the visual quality and impact must surely be welcomed. The trade off of a big shadow in winter will be matched by much shade in summer.
Overall it’s a welcome rejuvination of a pretty tired space.
Now if only the ACT government committed to actually cleaning the space on a daily basis. And the bird shit……?

g210 g210 9:17 am 08 Jul 19

The existing vs proposed shadow diagrams attached to the DA are quite telling for anyone interested to take a look.

HiddenDragon HiddenDragon 5:14 pm 06 Jul 19

“There will be 11 storeys fronting Bunda Street, cascading back to six to nine storeys on Garema Place. “

So does this set the precedent for the eventual (inevitable?) redevelopment of the adjacent buildings?

    JC JC 6:23 pm 07 Jul 19

    Think the first image shows what the mean. Nothing to do with buildings other than the one(s) in the block they are proposing to redevelop.

nothappyjan nothappyjan 10:06 am 06 Jul 19

So are these just the temporary plans for development approval? With the real plans for maximum profit to be revealed later while the council are asleep, during the Christmas holidays etc, as per usual.

phoon phoon 10:47 pm 05 Jul 19

Why does Mr. Geocon think that we all want the place jammed with his apartments? Very few people do. If he thinks Canberra is so bad as it was why is he here? And has been noted 212 “premium” apartments with 90 car spaces is just silly.

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