By Meg Hill
A development application to be considered by the City of Melbourne is seeking to demolish the Hub Arcade on Little Collins St and build a 12-storey residential hotel in its place.
The $35 million proposal would hold 135 serviced hotel rooms and ground floor food and drink premises, as well as two retail premises.
The Hub Arcade – which connects Little Collins St to Bourke Street Mall and is also connected to the heritage-listed Royal Arcade – is currently home to a number of restaurants and specialty retail.
The City of Melbourne’s planning portfolio chair Cr Nicholas Reece said the application would be “very carefully considered by the council’s urban planners”.
“The Hub Arcade is located in the heart of Melbourne’s retail district and Little Collins St is a major thoroughfare for pedestrians,” Cr Reece said.
“Any development within this area would need to respect Little Collins St’s significant heritage value and contribute to its character.”
The Hub Arcade was built in 1965. The existing three-storey arcade building would be demolished if the proposal was accepted.
The application argues its demolition is acceptable as the arcade building is not considered contributory and was rejected by the recent Hoddle Grid Heritage Review.
It also states “the building is of limited architectural interest, and its original ground floor frontage and internal shopfronts have been modified “.
The proposed hotel would also install a pool and gym in the basement of the site.
For more on the proposal read Melbourne Heritage Action’s column in this edition •