New look for Lovett Tower in proposed conversion to rental accommodation

Ian Bushnell 1 June 2021 22
Remodelled Lovett Tower

An artist’s impression of a remodelled Lovett Tower and its western car ramp. Image: dezignteam.

The proposed refurbishment of Woden’s landmark Lovett Tower will include the retrofitting of five levels for parking and the construction of an external uncovered ramp on the western side of the building.

Brite Developments has lodged a development application to revamp the mothballed tower, Canberra’s first high rise building and the city’s tallest at 26 storeys (93 metres) until Geocon’s High Society recently eclipsed it in Belconnen.

Brite wants to convert the previous office spaces into 300 units – 184 serviced apartments on levels 9-22 and 115 units as student accommodation on levels 6-8.

The $46 million project will include ground floor retail with increased floorspace and new glazing to the northern, eastern and southern facades.

Commercial office space and support services for the commercial accommodation will be provided at mezzanine level with increases to floorspace at the north-eastern and south-eastern corners of the building, as well as new floor-to-ceiling glazing to three sides of the building.

The plans show a second building/lobby entrance at the eastern end of the ground floor, opening towards the Town Square, offering, the DA says, a convenient link to the bus interchange and future light rail terminus.

Brite plans to meet the need for more parking, other than the 14 of the 17 existing basement car spaces that will retained for loading and building services, by converting levels 1-5 to an 82-space car park with access from the external ramp on the western side of the building away from the town centre, which will bypass the mezzanine level.

Building and square

Another view of Lovett Tower opening to the Woden Town Square. Image: dezignteam.

Glazing to levels 1-5 of the western and northern facades of the building will mostly be removed and replaced with louvres to ventilate parking areas.


READ ALSO: 260-unit project proposed for Denman Prospect


This arrangement will require the purchase of additional land over the existing services corridor at the western end of the site and a direct sale application will be submitted to the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate.

All parking levels will have electric vehicle charging points and solar panels are planned for the roof.

The DA states that 50 of the two and three-bedroom serviced apartments will be “premium” or luxury standard on levels 18-22, and all apartments are intended to offer terms ranging from nightly up to 12 months, and will be fully furnished.

It says the proposed commercial build-to-rent accommodation model is intended to fill a gap in Canberra’s tight accommodation market by offering flexible ‘ready to move in’ short-term stays.

The student accommodation units comprise ensuite bed/study rooms with communal kitchen, laundry and recreational areas, and is pitched to service the new CIT campus.

The existing main entrance to the building will be retained and refurbished with a reception/administration area incorporated into the lobby space.

A new awning to provide cover for pedestrians will be built around three sides of the building.

Brite is also seeking to vary the Crown lease.


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22 Responses to New look for Lovett Tower in proposed conversion to rental accommodation
Justin Watson Justin Watson 4:36 pm 01 Jun 21

I’m stumped, what will people in Canberra complain about with this proposal...... we are keeping a building, adding car parks, should be affordable......

    Jp Romano Jp Romano 5:14 pm 01 Jun 21

    Justin Watson solar panels, ev charging...

    John Kerry Tozer John Kerry Tozer 7:31 am 02 Jun 21

    Justin Watson - Having over-sighted more “conversion” of old office building to residential and/or student accommodation than anyone else in Canberra, I can tell you it will be anything BUT “affordable”!

Aaron Fitzsimmons Aaron Fitzsimmons 4:40 pm 01 Jun 21

I know it’s called Lovett Tower but for as long as I can remember it always referred to it as the MLC tower.

Patrick J Pentony Patrick J Pentony 4:43 pm 01 Jun 21

For Stage 2b of light rail to stack up will will need thousands more apartments in Woden centre and along its axis.

Robert Azzopardi Robert Azzopardi 5:06 pm 01 Jun 21

I’m sure the WVCC will find a reason to complain about this development however on paper it looks good.

    Jp Romano Jp Romano 5:15 pm 01 Jun 21

    Robert Azzopardi Fiona Carrick has already suggested the developer forfeit a floor or two to be used as a ‘community space’. Absolutely ludicrous.

    Robert Azzopardi Robert Azzopardi 5:33 pm 01 Jun 21

    Jp Romano hahaha I know the woman well.

    Martin Miller Martin Miller 6:11 pm 01 Jun 21

    Robert Azzopardi doesn't mention the WVCC once!

    Martin Miller Martin Miller 6:13 pm 01 Jun 21

    Jp Romano ..and you'd know! Mayor of Manoooka!😆

    Robert Azzopardi Robert Azzopardi 6:20 pm 01 Jun 21

    Martin Miller did I say it did ?

    Martin Miller Martin Miller 6:44 pm 01 Jun 21

    Robert Azzopardi Then you must be talking from experience or out of your......

    Slade Minson Slade Minson 7:09 pm 01 Jun 21

    Dont you Lovett?

    Robert Azzopardi Robert Azzopardi 7:10 pm 01 Jun 21

    Martin Miller experience

Robyn Baer Robyn Baer 5:22 pm 01 Jun 21

Worked in that building for years. Those lifts need replacing !!!

    Alicia Conley Alicia Conley 7:30 am 02 Jun 21

    Robyn Baer no, not if we put the doll bludgers in it.

    We won't need to fix much at all.

Cat Brown Cat Brown 5:25 pm 01 Jun 21

Patrick there you go....

    Patrick Chapman Patrick Chapman 5:40 pm 01 Jun 21

    Cat Brown thanks! Asked the question at the right time

Michael Roy Michael Roy 7:26 pm 01 Jun 21

Terrible parking solution, just abolish the parking requirements and invest in active travel and PT

Adeline Potter Adeline Potter 8:54 pm 01 Jun 21

Katherine Bryant, Emily King, Jess Phillips about time!

Cathy Sorrentino Cathy Sorrentino 10:31 am 02 Jun 21

Great idea, hope it goes ahead as it will revitalise the Woden town centre. Now all we need is some decent shops in the shopping centre

Ol L Ol L 10:47 am 09 Jun 21

Worst wind tunnel in Canberra

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