Plans lodged for new Sydney CBD hotel above former Universal Film warehouse

Plans lodged for new Sydney CBD hotel above former Universal Film warehouse
Joel RobinsonDecember 7, 2020

Plans have been lodged to the City of Sydney council for a new hotel in the heart of the CBD.

The $57 million plans by Element Property Group will see the heritage-listed 1930s warehouse at 499 Kent Street remain, incorporating a new hotel set back from the front of the building.

Plans lodged for new Sydney CBD hotel above former Universal Film warehouse

Element paid $52.5 million for the 810 sqm site, which was famously the film exchange for Universal Studios, in February.

In 2018 it was listed seeking over $55 million.

They've had the Sydney CBD firm PTW Architects draw up plans for the 220-room hotel which will retail on the ground level, a gym, a cafe, dining and lounge area and eight levels of basement parking.

PTW engaged UAP, an internationally renowned art and design firm specialising in collaborative place-making and the management of integrated art and design solutions for the public realm.

Plans lodged for new Sydney CBD hotel above former Universal Film warehouse

They prepared a Public Art Strategy doc for the development.

"The vision for the proposed redevelopment of the site is to deliver a boutique hotel that will provide welcoming ground floor public realm encouraging interaction between the building and the street frontage of Druitt Lane and Kent Street," the Public Art Strategy document reads.

"The façade of the building is unique and is designed in an Inter-War Stripped Classical Style, characterised by decorative panels with film motifs. 

"Public art will be integrated into the very fabric of the development, becoming a feature that will draw guests and visitors into the building from the street as well as promote, and further educate viewers on the fascinating history of the site."

In the early 1930s a building was built for iron merchants Thomas McPherson & Son, who had been operating a warehouse and store at 493-95 Kent Street since 1884.

A few years later all buildings on the subject site were demolished, including part of the 1933 bulk store.

A new building was constructed for the Universal Film Manufacturing Company, to plans by architect Percy William Ritchie, by builders Stuart Bros.

The basement became the new bulk store for Thomas McPherson while the three upper floors are occupied by Universal Pictures, the lessee. 

 

 

Joel Robinson

Joel Robinson is a property journalist based in Sydney. Joel has been writing about the residential real estate market for the last five years, specializing in market trends and the economics and finance behind buying and selling real estate.

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