Canberra’s Garema Centre to make way for $100m luxury hotel

The Garema Centre in Canberra is set to become a luxury hotel.

Builder Geocon will develop a $100 million deluxe hotel in the heart of Canberra city after snapping up the Garema Centre in Bunda Street.

Geocon managing director Nick Georgalis says tourists and business travellers to Canberra are finding insufficient hotel room supply in the national capital, particularly at the luxury end.

Geocon has commissioned Fender Katsalidis Architects to design the hotel, which will be one of the first new deluxe offerings the group will establish in Canberra.

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Geocon owns and operates the Abode Group of hotels and the company expects to start construction on the new property in 2019, welcoming its new guests one year later.

Geocon forked out $13.35 million for the site after a hotly contested expressions of interest campaign handled by Matthew Winter of Colliers International.

The Garema Centre, a standalone retail building, sits on a site of 1052sqm and is zoned CZ1, allowing for a hotel to be built.

The sale campaign attracted buyers from Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.

“Unlike many assets offered for sale this year, the flexibility of the 70 Bunda St site made it an attractive option to a very broad range of buyers. We saw significant interest from developers, investors, student accommodation providers, owner-occupiers and hoteliers,” Winter says.

– with Ben Wilmot

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