Developer Tim Gurner plans first major hotel in Collingwood

9 May 2019


A glamorous hotel, high-end apartments and rooftop pool are on the cards for Collingwood, marking a major turnaround for a suburb once known for its drug culture.

Collingwood could soon have its first major hotel, cementing a turnaround for a suburb once known for its drug culture.

One of Melbourne’s most outspoken developers, Tim Gurner, is planning to build a 95-room hotel on Johnston St in the inner-northern suburb known for its street art and cafe culture.

The 4.5-star hotel — to be joined by 65 high-end apartments with prices ranging from $500,000 to $4.9 million — is believed to be a first for the suburb.

The planned apartments.
The planned apartments. Source:Supplied

The $120 million project will feature a bar, rooftop pool, valet-parking and a porte-cochere entry.

The suburb has come a long way since the 1990s when Smith St — around the corner from the proposed development — was known as Smack St due to the number of heroin users and dealers who frequented it.

Residents in the apartments would be able to order room service from the hotel, though Mr Gurner did not confirm if smashed avocado — which he famously warned first-home buyers against — would be on the menu.

It is the developer’s first step into the world of hotels.

Mr Gurner plans to retain ownership of the hotel, which would be run by Veriu.

Collingwood and Abbotsford Residents Association secretary Virginia Dods said the area was already strained and had traffic issues.

The building would have a porte-cochere entry.
The building would have a porte-cochere entry. Source:Supplied
The site would have apartments and a luxury hotel.
The site would have apartments and a luxury hotel. Source:Supplied

“Residents always feared this would be an issue, there are already enormous problems with transport and parking in the area,” she said.

The move follows the Pace of Abbotsford redevelopment in the former St Crispin House site further along Johnston St.

Ms Dods said locals had feared that project would pave the way for several sites along the street to be ­developed. She also voiced fears of the effect it might have on a growing arts scene in the area.

“There are real issues around Johnston St because developers have been land banking there,” Ms Dods said. “We would not really like to have a large Gurner development next to he arts ­precinct.”

An application for the development will be made to the City of Yarra in the coming months.