Fear of heights debate fallout
NUMEROUS private developments are due to get under way or completed in Hobart next year, but continuing momentum relies on certainty over height limits, says a property expert.
Blue Edge Property managing director John Huizing said there was unprecedented demand in Hobart for affordable housing and even more so for urban medium-density apartments.
“There are a couple in the pipeline, but nothing that’s been approved yet,” he said.
“We’re seeing there’s a lag time of around three years from the time a site is bought, a DA (development application) approved and the completion of the project. We need quicker approvals and also we’ve got to make a decision about height limits. My view is that the design of the building should be more important than height. The debate is not helping encourage development.”
Some of the infill developments include The Commons on Bathurst St, a 30-unit venture being promoted as Australia’s first carbon-positive residential development. It is due to be completed next year.
A development application has been submitted for a 28apartment building at 9 Sandy Bay Rd by Melbourne-based developers Moda, working with local architecture firm Room 11. And 28 apartments have been proposed for 431 Elizabeth St, North Hobart, at the site of the former Blue Gum Service Station.
One of the biggest private commercial developers to show interest in the state in recent years is the Fragrance Group. Its only project with current approval in Hobart is
for demolition at 179 Macquarie St and the construction of a new 206-room hotel, restaurant and function centre.
The Singaporean company has not said when work on this project may begin.
A proposal for a floating hotel on the River Derwent was mooted in June by Hunter Developments, led by architect Robert Morris-Nunn. The five-storey, ring-shaped floating hotel near the Hobart Regatta Grounds would be the first hotel of its kind anywhere in the world.
Melbourne developer Riverlee has bought up the better part of an entire city block, with stage one of their Odeon Theatre redevelopment opening earlier this year in the form of cultural precinct In The Hanging Garden. It forms part of a longer-term vision for the site, which the proponents have said would be developed as part of a future masterplan for a broader cultural precinct worth at least $200 million.
Mona’s $400 million hotel, expected to be built by 2024, is Tasmania’s biggest hotel proposal in the pipeline, while the $50 million, 152-room Marriott Tasman Hotel project at Parliament Square in Hobart is expected to open next year.
The Crowne Plaza Hotel in the Icon Complex is also expected to be complete in the first quarter of 2020.