Seven-storey, European-style hotel proposed in Manuka makeover

Ian Bushnell 7 June 2018 52

The proposed Capitol Hotel is Stage 1 of the redevelopment of Section 96 in Manuka. This illustration includes indicative Stage 2, which will match Stage 1 in height and architecture. Images from the development application.

A European-style, neo-classical seven-storey hotel has been proposed for a prime gateway site in the heart of Manuka, as the first stage of a major redevelopment of the area from the cinema to Flinders Way.

The Liangis family has lodged a development application for Blocks 3 and 4, Section 96 on Franklin Street in Manuka, originally the site of the Manuka Post Office but more recently a café, now vacant.

The 822 square metre site takes in two significant corners – Franklin Street and Flinders Way, which forms a gateway to the Manuka Group Centre café and retail precinct directly abutting the Manuka Cinema site, also owned by the Liangis family, and Flinders Way and Canberra Avenue.

The $11.4 million Capitol Hotel proposal is Stage 1 of a redevelopment of Section 96. The soon to follow Stage 2 extends to Blocks 1, 2 and 5, with the buildings on that site, including the cinema, to be vacated by June 2019 and ready for demolition. Stage 2 is still being designed.

The proposed 58-room hotel, designed by Cox Architecture, will include a basement carpark, ground-level lobby and hotel reception, café/restaurant and back of house areas, five levels of accommodation, external signage and rooftop plant and equipment.

The proposal also includes a new electrical substation, verge works, removal of existing parking and construction of a driveway on Flinders Way, porte cochere and associated offsite works including paving and planting.

The development will be along the lines of Le Grand Hotel, Paris.

The hotel will cover the entire site.

A registered tree is proposed to make way for the substation, although the proponents have been asked to reconsider design options to retain it.

The DA, prepared by Canberra Town Planning, says the Capitol Hotel development will be an “iconic and prestigious building that is commensurate with its prominent location along Manuka Circle”.

“The building has been designed in accordance with the National Capital Plan DCP design objectives, representing a high quality architectural outcome for the site that greatly enhances the character and aesthetic of the Manuka Group Centre,” it says.

“The hotel’s neo-classical design and building finishes reflect the magnificence of premium European hotels such as in Paris … the building is to be an enduring icon in the Group Centre for years to come.”

The DA says the development has the backing of the National Capital Authority and the 18.27 metre high building has been designed to the height and scale specified by the NCP for Section 96.

Its says a study shows minimal overshadowing of existing buildings and the impact of the building on pedestrian amenity of Franklin Street is considered acceptable.

The study indicates that the shadow cast by the hotel on the winter solstice will reach the southern verge of Franklin Street during the morning and the eastern verge of Flinders Way in the afternoon.

The plans show 15 spaces in the basement car park, and the DA says the effective function of Canberra Avenue will not be impeded and pedestrian links will be enhanced.

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52 Responses to Seven-storey, European-style hotel proposed in Manuka makeover
jsm2090 jsm2090 6:19 pm 18 Jun 18

This development won’t have a cataclysmic effect on traffic or the surrounding environment as some people claim, but geez, I’m sick of this generic garbage in Canberra (and all Australian cities) Zero outdoor public space to connect the building with the street…. It’s time the ACT Gov. got serious about greening tall developments.

Alley Hunter Alley Hunter 11:20 pm 17 Jun 18

Rose Moore new neighbors

Queanbeyanite Queanbeyanite 8:05 pm 14 Jun 18

That will be a welcome improvement.

Some generic shared public service office space would be nice too.

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 9:34 am 15 Jun 18

    Public servants will be the only ones able to afford to go there so, why not?

jrsubs jrsubs 6:52 pm 14 Jun 18

15 car spaces!!!???

You would think Liangis and the ACT authorities were having a laugh, and maybe they are … at what they can get away with. The joke is about the Paris building style coming with Paris parking. So will the ACT government allow us to park all over footpaths, right around corners and in double rows in crowded areas? I didn’t think so.

Really, when does this government start to come to grips with reality and Canberra’s parking and other community needs?

pynchon pynchon 5:23 pm 14 Jun 18

It’s not neo-Classical. It would be better described as Beaux-Arts or, more precisely, Haussmann style. However the design isn’t really any of those, its just a six-storey building with a mansard roof.

Arika Errington Arika Errington 7:53 pm 13 Jun 18

Uhhh they already ruined the old theatre building. Leave Manuka alone. Those of us who grew up with the old school of it love it that way. Getting way too hoity toity

William A Errington William A Errington 8:42 am 13 Jun 18

Ugly bloody thing, no style

James Montgomery-Willcox James Montgomery-Willcox 2:01 pm 09 Jun 18

At least it's interesting and not a boring concrete and glass monstrosity.

Paul Kinghorne Paul Kinghorne 11:13 am 09 Jun 18

The cinema will be missed.

    Ian Don Ian Don 9:10 pm 09 Jun 18

    I hope they build another cinema as part of stage 2. It would be disappointing if we lost it completely. I don’t think it makes much as it is though, it’s nearly always empty.

    Paul Kinghorne Paul Kinghorne 9:12 pm 09 Jun 18

    not at $10a ticket but I’ll take it while I can..

Bob Leutner Bob Leutner 1:43 pm 08 Jun 18

Manuka . . . Manuka . . . ?

Frank Nizynski Frank Nizynski 12:00 am 08 Jun 18

Hmmm - how much do 'Old Canberrans' trust Mrs D??? Knocked down our own picture palace overnight!!

    Kevin Gill Kevin Gill 6:34 am 08 Jun 18

    Frank ...Mrs D bought it after the beaut old theatre was destroyed

    Frank Nizynski Frank Nizynski 11:34 am 08 Jun 18

    I did mean Mrs L, not D!

    Kevin Gill Kevin Gill 2:23 pm 08 Jun 18

    Yes Mrs L did not own the Capitol theatre at the time of its most unfortunate demolition

    Frank Nizynski Frank Nizynski 1:00 pm 09 Jun 18

    Who ordered the demolition then KG?

    Bill Lyristakis Bill Lyristakis 11:30 am 10 Jun 18

    The old cinema was owned and redeveloped by greater union cinemas and on sold to Mrs Liangis. She was not involved at all in the demolition of the old cinema

    Frank Nizynski Frank Nizynski 6:22 pm 10 Jun 18

    Bill Lyristakis - thank you - I did not know that!!

    Kevin Gill Kevin Gill 6:49 pm 10 Jun 18

    The demolishers were very ‘clever’ and advertised in a very small public notice in the CT that the building on Block XYZ Section ABC Forrest was to be demolished which went largely unnoticed because we all ‘think’ Manuka.

    Fred Pilcher Fred Pilcher 5:18 pm 13 Jun 18

    About as far as I could throw them.

Iaian Ross Iaian Ross 8:11 pm 07 Jun 18

3-4 Storeys, (just 1-2 storeys higher than the other buildings) but not 7. Unless there's something in the works for the Servo there. 7 will just make it ostentatious and over inflate the feel there.

    Andrea Kerr Andrea Kerr 8:44 pm 07 Jun 18

    Over inflate the feel? What?

    Iaian Ross Iaian Ross 8:52 pm 07 Jun 18

    That feeling when you're about to approach something really great and the surrounding area will be slightly similar only to be let down that it's not as good as one would expect if you were new to the area. You know, that instant deflation from excitement to disappointment feeling of "Ahhhh! ohhhhhh....."

    Jp Romano Jp Romano 9:12 pm 07 Jun 18

    Seven stories has been approved up the road on Franklin street and is on an considerably higher block. Seven stories is an appropriate height for a group centre. Businesses need customers to survive. It could use some more parking and a boutique cinema!

    Elizabeth Martin Elizabeth Martin 9:27 pm 07 Jun 18

    the way they report its likely that 7 includes the basement.

HiddenDragon HiddenDragon 5:43 pm 07 Jun 18

If this helps to keep things humming along in Manuka, then that will be a good thing.

As to the tree, if these words –

“A registered tree is proposed to make way for the substation, although the proponents have been asked to reconsider design options to retain it.”

mean that the tree may go after due consideration of alternatives, blah blah blah, it does sort of beg the question as to why we are still maintaining (presumably at considerable expense to over-taxed ratepayers) a when-it-suits tree protection regime. The original story (many years ago) was that the really important (howsoever defined) trees around the town would be identified and listed and then that would be it – no more jumping through bureaucratic hoops simply because a tree meets arbitrary size criteria.

Theo Notaras Theo Notaras 3:54 pm 07 Jun 18

Exactly what Manuka needs!!! Whoever doesn’t like this doesn’t know what their talking about

    Ian Don Ian Don 5:13 pm 07 Jun 18

    some anti-development group will protest

    Fiona Caskie Fiona Caskie 6:37 pm 07 Jun 18

    Great idea in theory if it is built properly.

    Building inspectors would need to be out there everyday. 25 to 30 years of dodgy, cheap and defective building by two particular old time builders across Canberra which the ACT Govt has signed off on. Unit and business owners are fully aware of what has gone on. Leaking roofs, leaking showers, dodgy electrical, cracked walls, scabby paving, flooding carports, leaking verandas and cheap paint. If you are going to build make it a class act and build with quality materials.

    Tomislav Vujic Tomislav Vujic 8:54 pm 07 Jun 18

    Manuka just needs a fish and chip shop!

Nylex Nylex 3:41 pm 07 Jun 18

15 car spaces for a 58-room hotel? That doesn’t work, although it would be the usual Canberra planning failure with regards to car parking.
And traffic management just won’t be possible on that corner. It’s already a mess.
Unless they pedestrianise that stretch of Franklin Street and convert the remaining square formed by Franklin, Flinders, Bougainville and Furneaux to one-way streets, it will just be a schemozzle.
And Flinders really needs to be pedestrianised at least as far as Bougainville, at minimum it needs to be made one-way as far as Murray Cres.

A_Cog A_Cog 3:24 pm 07 Jun 18

Hey, Ian Don, ya darn right the KBRG, GNCA and ISCCC will oppose this!
Seven stories?!? That’s too high for everyone sitting in cafes to see the Manuka Oval lights and complain about them intruding on the “visual amenity” of empty space.

And that large tree on Franklin St is of enormous historical, heritage and emotional value to everyone who likes trees, even generally, and even those people living miles away.

And there will be all the impacts of cars, driving on roads! How selfish and unfair that anyone suggest anything for this key commercial and recreational hub of the 25,000 inner-south residents.

Manuka should be frozen in 1965, the golden age. An artifact of how things used to be, a living museum – but not one that attracts visitors, coz they have cars.

Jessica Fryer Jessica Fryer 3:21 pm 07 Jun 18

It looks gorgeous, tasteful but with plenty of personality. I know I'm looking forward to having some awesome new neighbours in Manuka. 💚

    William A Errington William A Errington 6:09 am 08 Jun 18

    It will cause havoc on surrounding traffic.

    Ian Don Ian Don 6:23 am 08 Jun 18

    William A Errington how?

    Kytie Mclign Kytie Mclign 8:23 am 08 Jun 18

    Ian Don Access by cars dropping people off, along with commercial vehicles (for waste management, f&b deliveries etc), and high levels of demand for on-street parking, maybe?

    Ian Don Ian Don 3:03 pm 08 Jun 18

    Kytie Mclign so like what’s already happening

    Jessica Fryer Jessica Fryer 6:20 pm 08 Jun 18

    I've not noticed much traffic. We'd be happy of a bit of action.

Alex Troy Elsworth Adkins Alex Troy Elsworth Adkins 3:21 pm 07 Jun 18

I liked it until i read the article, getting rid of a registered tree and replacing it with a substation along Manuka's main eat street?!?! Seems like a terrible outcome to me hopefully they can rework the design because i like the idea... Also im not big on parking, i think it is always overplayed as an issue, but 15 car-parks seems insufficient given the limited public transport available

Capital Retro Capital Retro 3:13 pm 07 Jun 18

So, “European-style”.

Is this code for bidets in every room?

Ian Don Ian Don 1:20 pm 07 Jun 18

This is the corner with the now empty Mr Sushi and Korean BBQ place?

The manuka anti-everything group will no doubt try and shut this down. How dare there be progress in the inner south.

    Ian Don Ian Don 1:27 pm 07 Jun 18

    It has potential, the plan looks good. I noticed that stage 2 looks as though it will go all the way to Furneaux street, taking over the cinema location too. If that happens I hope a new cinema opens up close by. That side of Manuka seems to struggle and looks derelict so some new development there would be nice.

    Ian Don Ian Don 1:29 pm 07 Jun 18

    Matt Donnelly how long till the Griffith-Narrabundah Residents' Association, Kingston and Barton Residents Group, Friends of Manuka Pool and the Inner South Canberra Community Council attempt to block it?

    Matt Donnelly Matt Donnelly 1:40 pm 07 Jun 18

    There are some very cranky, middle-aged, white, Greens voting, BMW SUV driving women dressed in Maggie Shepherd, and they won’t be ignored.

    Jorge Gatica Jorge Gatica 5:09 pm 07 Jun 18

    I don’t think people in these areas a greenies, more conservative I think

    Ian Don Ian Don 5:10 pm 07 Jun 18

    Jorge Gatica no, there is a fair share of chardonnay lefts in the inner south.

    Matt Donnelly Matt Donnelly 8:23 pm 07 Jun 18

    They mostly vote Greens and Labor. Happy to provide AEC stats. Very few Lib conservatives behind the Chardy vote.

    Andrea Kerr Andrea Kerr 8:41 pm 07 Jun 18

    Ian Don it won’t be long

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