The decade-long bid to redevelop a vacant Downier Street site will come to fruition at the hand of Little Projects, with Hyatt Hotels Corporation signing on for their first Melbourne location.
Little Projects' intentions for a hotel development onsite were flagged last month, although the developer was reluctant to name the operator subject to agreements being finalised. Hyatt Centric Melbourne will include 278 guestrooms and suites, and is anticipated to be open for business during 2020.
Hyatt Hotels Corporation's take up of the Downie Street project continues the unparalleled flow of new hotel brands and capacity into Melbourne's CBD; this week IHG has also confirmed a new dual presence Holiday Inn and Hotel Indigo for a pending Bourke Street development.
Little Projects secured the Downie Street site during mid 2017 after the 1,187 square metre site had been offered for sale with a permit in place for a 30-storey Peddle Thorp-designed apartment tower of 255 apartments. Over a decade ago the site was intended to be home to Archer Apartments, a 35-storey building designed by Edgard Pirrotta Architects.
The Archer. Image: Edgard Pirrotta Architects
Although marketing began for that project, it never came to fruition.
After their purchase, Little Projects took the approved scheme back to planning with the intent of adding another hotel to Melbourne's burgeoning hotel sector. The amended design was given the green light last month and will adhere to the previously approved development envelope championed by Peddle Thorp Architects, although the newly reworked design is credited to Architectus.
For Hyatt Hotels Corporation the Downie Street project adds to the existing Melbourne portfolio.
Hyatt Centric will supplement long-established outlets Park Hyatt Melbourne and Grand Hyatt Melbourne, plus Hyatt Place at Essendon Fields. The latter $60 million project was completed during 2017 and remains Australia's sole Hyatt Place.
On the agreement with Hyatt Hotels Corporation and the renaissance of Melbourne CBD's western precinct, Little Projects head Paul Little stated:
Finally, we have our answer to the Paris-end of Collins Street; what we have long seen as the developing end of the city is now presenting as a rival precinct in its own right. We are in the early stages of this change in perception and appreciation for an area of Melbourne that is only really just starting to unlock its potential.
Our Hyatt Centric Hotel brings together the existing advantages of a location that provides just enough breathing space from the city’s central business district, yet makes no sacrifices on amenities or hospitality offerings and boasts a culture unlike anything this city has ever known.
Couple the appetite for a more youthful hotel offering with a brand like Hyatt Centric and a location like Downie Street and the opportunity becomes evident.
Hobart's Hyatt Centric. Image: Hotel Management
The Downie Street presence will be the second Hyatt Centric for Australia after Hyatt Hotels and Resorts last year formalised a deal to launch the brand in Hobart.
Backed by Elizabeth Tasmania Pty Ltd, that project will see a 20 storey tower delivered with 221-guestrooms set over 17 levels in addition to a restaurant, bar/lounge and meeting facilities over lower floors.
Local firm JAWS Architects were appointed for the design, alongside Sydney-based Dreamtime Australia Design who was charged with the project's interior design.
With Hutchinson Builders are taking on the Hobart built, a contractor for Melbourne's Downie Street has yet to be announced although Little Projects expect site works to begin this month(link is external).