Russell Street's Theosophical Society building sees new hotel application

Russell Street's Theosophical Society building sees new hotel application
Russell Street's Theosophical Society building sees new hotel application

A planning application is in play for the home of the Melbourne Theosophical Society on Russell Street.

Melbourne City Council received the application earlier this year for 124-130 Russell Street which would see the existing building make way for a thirteen-storey hotel above two basement levels. The existing structure dates back to 1923 but was marketed during 2017 as having no heritage protections.

Savills handled the sale which saw the approximately 520 square metre site sell for approximately $23 million.

Beyond the initial submission, a change of application has been noted for the intended development via Council's planning register. The pending development marries with architecture firm Buchan recently publishing imagery of a hotel scheme across the site which would account for all traces of the existing building.

Russell Street's Theosophical Society building sees new hotel application
Buchan's take on the expected Russell Street development

Buchan has accredited the project to developer LongRiver Group who are themselves pursuing another hotel development in Box Hill. Highlighted by Urban earlier this week, that project will involve an outer eastern suburban presence for DoubleTree by Hilton brand.

The 200 room Box Hill project at 874-878 Whitehorse Road was also designed by  Buchan.

Should Buchan's scheme for the Russell Street site be that which has gone to planning, it will be a far cry from their design created for Box Hill. 124-130 Russell Street has been earmarked as a micro hotel by the architecture practice, who enlisted Tokyo-based architecture firm Nikken Sekkei to collaborate on the project's design.

Buchan describes the project as follows:

130 Russell Street will challenge the current market offering by creating a unique product when built.

The design features well-thought out, efficiently planned Japanese style guest rooms. These link with generous communal spaces based on Melbourne’s renowned food and beverage offers.

A joint project between Buchan and our alliance partner Nikken Sekkei, 130 Russell Street reflects a meeting of the Eastern and Western minds. It showcases Japanese innovation, attention to detail, and craftsmanship coupled with Australian efficiency, experience and quality of life.

The boutique hotel features small rooms, balanced with big public spaces. It includes modern restaurants and bars, basement nightclub and a rooftop bar with unhindered city views, designed for social travellers.

It is a literal example of the ‘living like a local’ trend. This interprets where an apartment is often a place to sleep, and the public spaces are where one spends the majority of their time. 

Currently, the trend in other major urban centres, the introduction of the micro hotel concept to Melbourne will further strengthen Melbourne’s reputation as a world-class, cosmopolitan city.

Whatever form the Russell Street development takes, it will be inserting itself into an increasingly active development market.

The generally excellent performance of hotels across Melbourne's CBD has prompted many developers to turn their attention to hotel development in favour of residential pursuits. 124-130 Russell Street is the fourteenth current hotel development noted within The Urban Project Database.

Of the fourteen, only three are under construction, suggesting that the bulk of Melbourne's CBD hotel development will transpire over coming years.

Lead image: Savills

Tags: 
Hotels

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hamishmckenzie
This would be a disgrace. A beautiful old building gone and for an ugly glass box to boot.
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Grampians
"No heritage protections". Ffs
Asleep at the wheel still MCC?
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