18 August 2022

Plans lodged for 101-room hotel at Koko Molonglo in Wright

| Ian Bushnell
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Hotel render

An artist’s impression of the proposed Koko Molonglo hotel in Wright. Images: OZTAL Architects.

A seven-storey hotel proposed for the Koko Molonglo development in Wright has been designed to be a sustainable, energy-efficient building that will stand the test of time.

Krnc Group has lodged a development application for the $28 million hotel, Stage 3 of the master-planned Koko Molonglo project underway on the prime corner of John Gorton Drive and Steve Irwin Avenue.

The eight-storey mixed-use Stage 1, which will include a Woolworths supermarket and 132 units, is under construction, while the DA for Stage 2 fronting Gornall Street, where an Aldi supermarket is planned, is being assessed.

The 101-room hotel, which will front Steve Irwin Avenue and provide a mix of one and two-bedroom serviced apartments, will add another dimension to not just Koko but the civic precinct that will be developed around the key intersection to serve Wright and Coombs.

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The building will have a rooftop terrace with raised planters and seating, while frontages to Steve Irwin Avenue will be landscaped with garden beds, existing trees and grassed verges.

A vertical green wall is proposed for the entry boundary, while the entry forecourt will be paved and a range of patios in a patterned design will mark the pedestrian area, shared driveway and parking bays.

The precast concrete building will have a white, grey and brick finish, with metal cladding and glazing.

Location of the proposed development

The site plan for Koko Molonglo shows how the hotel will fit into the precinct.

The sustainability features include an energy-efficient, passive design to reduce the need for heating and cooling and ensure cross-ventilation and natural light; a rooftop solar array to supplement power use; stormwater reuse; and a water tank on the roof to irrigate trees and plants.

The DA says 76 per cent of units are orientated and designed to receive a minimum of three hours of direct sun to living areas and more to the bedrooms.

Building materials and finishes will be low-carbon and bio-based wherever possible to minimise emissions, plastics and oiled/petroleum-based paints.

The structure of the building will allow flexibility of use and adaptable reuse to prolong its life.

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Parking of 177 spaces is proposed in the first level basement and upper ground floor to be accessed via the development’s approved main entry at the intersection of Steve Irwin Avenue and Banjo Patterson Avenue or the secondary point on Gornall Street.

There will also be bicycle parking and storage.

The DA’s traffic report from AECOM says the hotel will generate 40 vehicles per hour in the morning and evening peaks.

It says the hotel is expected to have a negligible impact on the surrounding road network, given that the full Koko development is not expected to significantly impact the performance of the adjacent intersections of Banjo Paterson Avenue/Steve Irwin Avenue and John Gorton Drive/Steve Irwin Avenue.

Another view of the proposed hotel.

Krnc Group Director of Development John Krnc said the hotel would mainly cater to family groups and visitors. However, given the site is only a short drive from Parliament and Civic, business and government would also be expected to use it during peak times.

Mr Krnc said there were currently very limited accommodation options available in the area.

“Koko will be the cornerstone to the future developments proposed for Wright and Coombs. With further mixed-use residential development to occur, the precinct will be a very vibrant and active place in the Molonglo Valley,” he said.

Mr Krnc said the sustainability features of the proposal were a reflection of the joint venture partners’ commitment to the long term.

“The Krnc and Pelle families are long-term holders of properties and are fully invested in providing properties that are here for the future and to stand the test of time,” he said.

“Along with purchasers of the residential apartments, we are here for the long haul.”

Mr Krnc said Woolworths and the supporting tenants in Stage 1 would open in early 2023, with unit residents moving in at the same time.

He said the Aldi development should soon be approved, with construction to be complete in mid-2023, while the hotel was expected to open in early 2024.

The remaining small parcel of land on the Koko site could be residential or commercial premises.

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Molonglo Valley Community Forum convenor Ryan Hemsley said the Forum was seeking more information from the developer to ensure pedestrian safety in and around the precinct could be maintained, despite the heavy vehicle demands of a local centre of this size.

“The Forum is working to ensure that the whole precinct is able to function effectively as a viable and safe community hub,” he said.

“It is looking increasingly likely that Koko Molonglo will be the primary commercial hub for Coombs and Wright, so we need to make sure that each stage contributes positively to the overall development.”

Comments on the DA close on 31 August.

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Why is there nothing happening with the shops. I don’t see any workmen there. The building materials have been sitting on the floor of the shops for months and no work progressing to outfit the shops.

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