Pentridge Prison hotel gets green light

Shayher has won approval for a 19-storey Adina Apartment Hotel in Melbourne’s Coburg.

Taiwanese-backed Shayher Group has won approval for a 19-storey apartment hotel in Melbourne’s north as it presses ahead with the redevelopment of a former prison site into a $1 billion masterplanned community. 

A TFE-operated Adina Apartment Hotel is set to open in 2020 after winning the backing of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

VCAT approved plans for the Cox Architects-designed 120-key hotel with a day spa, cafe, retail space, restaurant and heritage interpretation space.

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The hotel will be part of Shayher’s transformation of the historic Pentridge Prison in Coburg, about 8km north of the Melbourne CBD, which will include up to 1300 apartments with office space, retail and entertainment options.

The project will have up to 14 cafes, bars and restaurants as well as a supermarket, specialty shops, Palace cinemas, theatre and an outdoor piazza area.

The group bought the site in 2013 for a reported $18 million from Valad Property Group. Shayher welcomed the planning approval, saying the density of the tower was consistent with the state government-approved precinct masterplan from 2014.

“The vision for Pentridge ­Coburg has long been to deliver an activated urban village that introduces integrated residential, food, retail and travel experiences to the area,” Shayher Group spokesman Anthony Goh says. “The hotel plays a key role in sensitively reopening this historic asset in a way for the entire community to experience and appreciate.

“In developing these plans, we have taken inspiration from projects in the US and UK that readapted jails into beautiful ­accommodation, paying tribute to the past by repositioning them for the future.”

Hotel guests will be able to stay in converted prison cells while the prison’s former chapel will be available for weddings and functions.

The developer will spend more than $1m on restoration works this year for the prison, which dates to the 1850s.

Approval includes conditions such as making at least six dwellings adaptable — able to be easily altered for users with a disability — and making 20% of bicycle parking spaces horizontal in accordance with Australian standards.

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