$30m Hotel in Macquarie Street given green light

In Attractions, Featured Home Page News, Tasmania

The Tasmanian Civil and Administrative Tribunal dismissed an appeal by Sunset Rock Investments against the development of a $30 million, 9-storey hotel by Singaporean company the Fragrance Group.

Sunset Rock Investments said the treatment of the facade, and removal of a planned rooftop garden, caused a detriment to members of the public in relation to requirements for the development to “make a positive contribution to the townscape”.

The Fragrance Group bought the site in 2018 for $9.35 million and lodged an application for a 120m high, 400-room hotel at 28 Davey Street and a 75m-high, 495-room hotel at 2 Collins St worth a combined $230m.

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from the mercury 9.4.22

THE OWNER of a large corporate building in Hobart’s CBD has failed in its appeal against the development of a neighbouring $30 million, 9-storey hotel by Singaporean company the Fragrance Group.

The site at 179 Macquarie Street, which formerly housed Myer homewares, has been slated for redevelopment since a new Hobart Interim Planning Scheme came into force, changing height restrictions.

The Fragrance Group bought the site in 2018 for $9.35 million, and plans to build a 206-room hotel with a restaurant, function centre and basement-level parking.

In its newly-published decision, the Tasmanian Civil and Administrative Tribunal dismissed an appeal by Sunset Rock Investments, which owns 200 Collins Street – the site of the Australian Taxation Office in Hobart.

Chris Merridew (previous owner of the building) in the construction site at 179 Macquarie St, Hobart which was the temporary Myer building and old Holden showroom. The building is the site of the new Fragrance Hotel. Picture: RICHARD JUPE

Chris Merridew (previous owner of the building) in the construction site at 179 Macquarie St, Hobart which was the temporary Myer building and old Holden showroom. The building is the site of the new Fragrance Hotel. Picture: RICHARD JUPE

Sunset Rock Investments, in its challenge against Hobart City Council and the Fragrance Group, said it had not consented to an amended permit.

It argued the application should be refused because the proposed amendments caused “an increase in the detriment to users of the adjoining building” at 200 Collins, which sits behind the Macquarie Street site with a shared rear boundary, through the “altered treatment to the north-west facade”.

“Detriment is in the form of reduction in amenity through reduced ambient light, increased visual confusion and utilitarian appearance, and reduced quality of design and finishes,” Sunset Rock argued.

It said treatment of the facade, and removal of a planned rooftop garden, caused a detriment to members of the public in relation to requirements for the development to “make a positive contribution to the townscape”.

179 Macquarie Street Hobart. Buildings in Hobart where possible developments may happen. Picture: NIKKI DAVIS-JONES

179 Macquarie Street Hobart. Buildings in Hobart where possible developments may happen. Picture: NIKKI DAVIS-JONES

An expert planner for Sunset Rock said the changes to the application, which included removal of sandstone cladding and replacement with painted precast panels, would result in an inferior appearance to the occupants of 200 Collins, who would have no alternative outlook but to look out over the hotel.

But the tribunal found its arguments had not been made out.

However, a condition that windows in the hotel’s swimming pool, gym and office adjacent to 200 Collins Street be opaque for privacy was added to the plans.

In 2017, the Fragrance Group lodged applications for a 120m high, 400-room hotel at 28 Davey Street and a 75m-high, 495-room hotel at 2 Collins St – worth a combined $230m.

The proposals were for the tallest buildings ever earmarked for Hobart and attracted significant public opposition.

The Collins Street development was refused by the council, while the Fragrance Group put its Davey Street development on hold, significantly reducing its height in a new application submitted last year.

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