Geocon unveils third attempt at Garema Place hotel development

Ian Bushnell 8 May 2019 33

Geocon’s proposed Canberra City Luxury Hotel development on Garema Place. Image: Geocon.

Geocon has unveiled a third-time-lucky iteration of its plans for a new luxury hotel in the city on Garema Place, this time incorporating an adjacent block and the iconic Gus’s cafe.

The construction giant originally proposed a 16-storey, five-star hotel in the city centre on Garema Place, but then scaled it back to a maximum of 10 storeys for what the amended development application said was a more modest building, more in keeping with the future direction of the area.

Geocon, which owns and operates the Iconic Hotels group (formerly Abode), bought the Garema Centre building at 70 Bunda Street in September 2017 for $13.35 million.

The site, on Block 5 Section 47 in the city, fronts Bunda Street on the north and Garema Place on the south and is occupied by a two-storey building with a basement level, with the ground floor consisting primarily of food and drink premises and a variety of commercial and retail premises on the first floor.

Geocon has also acquired Block 1 Section 47 and is now proposing an 11-storey development occupying 60-70 Bunda Street that it says will be Canberra’s first luxury mixed-used building, with 215 luxury hotel rooms, high grade office space, a wellness centre, multi-use event space, bars, cafes, signature restaurant, ballroom, function spaces, club lounge, outdoor bar and roof terrace pool.

It says the Canberra City Luxury Hotel development, designed by Fender Katsalidis Architecture, will also feature Gus’s cafe and alfresco dining, and be the catalyst for renewal at Garema Place, drawing more people to the heart of Canberra and creating a vibrant new precinct for locals and visitors alike.

“This development provides a mix of hotel, functions spaces, offices, restaurants, wellness centre, cafes and a wide range of commercial uses throughout the site,” Geocon says.

“Access from both Bunda Street and Garema Place provides lively street frontages within the locality. The hotel lobby will be active 24/7 and the bars, cafes and restaurants will have a wide variety of opening times, including weekends and evenings.”

Geocon says the building will cascade away from Garema Place to allow sunlight into the area and create a visually interesting building with less impact on the space.

It says pedestrians will be able to access the building from multiple angles, creating an experience from Garema Place and Bunda Street, while still maintaining the laneway feel with the adjacent buildings to the west.

Access for parking via a ramp and service vehicles will be provided off Bunda Street.

Geocon will seek approval to demolish the two existing two-storey commercial buildings on the site and replace them with the hotel and commercial offerings.

The pre-DA consultation period closes on 17 May, and the development application is expected to be lodged at the end of the month, with construction to commence in 2020.

To view the Garema Community Consultation document click here.

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33 Responses to Geocon unveils third attempt at Garema Place hotel development
Rob Smith Rob Smith 1:56 pm 13 May 19

Civic needs this gateman place is souless

Lucy Baker Lucy Baker 11:38 am 12 May 19

Geocon advertises on Sky News… which makes it all the more hilarious that the rest of their apartment marketing has them pretending to be millennial-friendly!

Rob Chalmers Rob Chalmers 9:26 am 12 May 19

Wind tunnel Mk3. Civic losing more of its character.

    Jp Romano Jp Romano 10:24 am 12 May 19

    Rob Chalmers Character of old dirty and abandoned buildings? 😂

    Rob Chalmers Rob Chalmers 10:28 am 12 May 19

    Jp Romano paved paradise put up a parking lot...renovate rather than obliterate.

    Jp Romano Jp Romano 12:25 pm 12 May 19

    Rob Chalmers those buildings weren’t made to be renovated.

    Rob Chalmers Rob Chalmers 12:54 pm 12 May 19

    Jp Romano In your opinion, I'm sure they are very robust.

Dorinda Lillington Dorinda Lillington 8:43 am 12 May 19

There was a programme on RN yesterday about where Canberra is heading as a City and it was pretty. The only way we can curtail this massive control by developers is to vote this Government out.

    Jp Romano Jp Romano 10:24 am 12 May 19

    Dorinda Lillington no. We are just growing. That’s how societal progression works.

Alexandra Martyniak Alexandra Martyniak 5:43 pm 11 May 19

Is Geocon going for world domination??? Canberra slowly being taken over by Geocon constructions. Great..😐

    Jp Romano Jp Romano 10:23 am 12 May 19

    Alexandra Martyniak they’re a successful business. If there wasn’t a demand for their product they’d go broke...

    Jean-Baptiste Spahr Jean-Baptiste Spahr 10:59 am 12 May 19

    Jp Romano JP read the comments, there’s no demand here.

    Jp Romano Jp Romano 12:25 pm 12 May 19

    Jean-Baptiste Spahr 5 people

Darron Marks Darron Marks 8:10 am 11 May 19

Nothing like more soviet era concrete architecture to revitalise the capital..

Mat Barber Mat Barber 9:00 pm 10 May 19

Just build it. Can't be any worse than the dump that's there now. The whole garema place precinct is in desperate need of an upgrade

    Margaret Freemantle Margaret Freemantle 5:05 pm 11 May 19

    Mat Barber it will soon be a dump again if Geocon builds it

    Craig Dingwall Craig Dingwall 5:49 am 12 May 19

    Mat Barber and a Police station again.

    Jp Romano Jp Romano 10:25 am 12 May 19

    Margaret Freemantle why’s that?

Katerina Ford Katerina Ford 8:59 pm 10 May 19

Smells bad Christian Lionis

Veronika Sain Veronika Sain 1:27 pm 10 May 19

They can say what they like but what looks like eight storeys above the ground floor is going to block out sun for much of the day to Garema place.

    Jp Romano Jp Romano 10:21 am 12 May 19

    Veronika Sain you do know this is the actual centre of the CBD? What are you proposing, we all pitch tents? Oh wait, they cast shade too.

Karl Kovach Karl Kovach 11:47 am 10 May 19

Need some skyscrapers in the CBD. I think it’s time to grow up and become a real city.

    Veronika Sain Veronika Sain 1:31 pm 10 May 19

    if tall and ugly are the only prerequisite for a city 🤔

    Jp Romano Jp Romano 10:23 am 12 May 19

    Karl Varnsen hear hear!

    Karl Kovach Karl Kovach 1:58 pm 12 May 19

    Veronika, nice small town opinion there. But, we have to start somewhere.

    John Tozer John Tozer 1:53 pm 16 May 19

    Karl Varnsen - so let’s start with fugly.... NOT!

    Karl Kovach Karl Kovach 2:37 pm 16 May 19

    John, see above your ‘comment’.

Justin Watson Justin Watson 7:06 pm 09 May 19

The sun actually rises from that direction.... plus are they still proposing something like 17 car parks.....

    Jp Romano Jp Romano 10:25 am 12 May 19

    Justin Watson better than what’s there now. That’s the centre of the CBD, it should be 50 stories.

    Justin Watson Justin Watson 11:17 am 12 May 19

    I don't have an issue with development if done well and what is there now is pretty crap, but you still want the sun to get into Garema place. The buildings to the side can be developed taller and there needs to be more residential to bring life into the city.

Illy Roumian Illy Roumian 2:05 pm 09 May 19

Any guesses on the sleazy name and innuendo they’ll use to market this one?

Greg Batten Greg Batten 12:42 pm 09 May 19

It could be more attractive ... just sayin' ...

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