Meriton reveals multi-million-dollar hotel plans for Canberra

Plans have been released for Canberra’s first five-star Meriton hotel, a 250-suite development in the retail heart of the nation’s capital.

Noise mitigation, water conservation and a passive solar design to minimise energy consumption are all part of the 16-storey proposal presented by Meriton for public feedback prior to the company submitting a development application.

Billionaire property mogul Harry Triguboff bought the 1734 sqm Civic site, currently home to an office block, for $23 million in July.

It is his first foray into the ACT market, the veteran developer saying at the time: “Canberra long has been on our radar because it’s drawing nearly three million visitors a year.

“Many people going there are on business, often politics related, and visit for multiple nights. They like the home comforts of having things like a lounge, kitchen and laundry.”

Meriton is now seeking community input on its plans for the high-profile site, which fronts Allara Street, Nangari Street and Rabaul Lane and includes a pedestrian bridge the developer is looking to remove.

The proposals include a combination of studio, one, two and three-bedroom suites, plus a penthouse, ground floor shops, leisure facilities and a covered entrance portico.

At ground level, shops and lobby areas will be connected to their surrounds through a pedestrian colonnade to the site’s three street frontages designed to provide shelter for pedestrians and improve the way the site interacts with its surrounds.

“Civic is the retail core of the city, surrounded by a mix of uses and public spaces. Development in this area will encourage additional independent, niche and boutique activity and support nearby places and active uses along key pedestrian routes,” the group’s plans say.

Meriton Suites general manager Matthew Thomas said in July the Canberra hotel was in a precinct that was undergoing significant regeneration.

“It’s changing to a mixed-use area that will see more ground-level and after-hours activity,” he said.

“We see the new ACT Government headquarters, under construction in Constitution Place, as a massive driver for the location.

“The proposed Canberra casino redevelopment will be a positive for the tourism and leisure markets.”

Mr Thomas said Canberra was a drawcard for international visitors, pointing out travel guide Lonely Planet ranked it third among the best cities in the world to visit.

He said Canberra and Melbourne were the chain’s two most requested destinations, making them a focus for Meriton’s much-publicised “rapid national expansion phase”.

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