Famous Sydney pub to become boutique hotel

Miles Hurley Miles Hurley Uploaded 20 January 2020

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Australia: The Sydney suburb of Balmain stands to see a new boutique hotel in its midst, as the famous Exchange hotel has been set for hotel conversion.

This marks the end of its lifespan as a combined pub and serviced office hub, which came after its purchase in 2016. 

An application for conversion was sent in earlier this week by Sydney development firm Sydney Architecture Studio (SAS), requesting permission for a 35-room boutique hotel space, incorporating the existing bar and adding on a coffee shop as well. This, according to the website Commercial Real Estate, is attempting to replicate the success of similar mixed-use development Paramount House, citing the ability of a trendy leisure space in an antique building to raise foot traffic in the area.

Tom de Plater, partner at SAS, said of the redevelopment's community impact: "The existence of pubs is something the community cares deeply about. We are mindful that any mixed-use proposal would need to not only incorporate this, but actively drive patrons through its doors." 

The hotel is attempting to replicate the original design of the heritage listed pub, maintaining the classic exterior while reinstalling the classic detailing including a removed second story balcony. According to the DA's office, proposed development costs will total around AU$1.99 million, aiming to have an open hotel by December 2020.

From the Paramount House, former Australian HQ of Paramount Pictures, to a conversion of student housing, refurbishment is becoming a popular proposition in Sydney. Providing a strong alternative to staying in either the city or Darling Harbour, the Exchange's renovation should offer a unique setting to travellers, as well as reinforce a community icon.

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