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High-rise tower plan for former Franklin Street pub

A developer has lodged plans for a 29-storey retail, office, hotel and apartment complex on the site of a century-old former city hotel and newspaper publisher.

Feb 21, 2024, updated Feb 21, 2024
A hotel and apartments are planned for the Franklin Street site of the former Publishers Hotel and original home of The Stock Journal newspaper. Photo: Thomas Kelsall/InDaily. Inset image: Future Urban/supplied

A hotel and apartments are planned for the Franklin Street site of the former Publishers Hotel and original home of The Stock Journal newspaper. Photo: Thomas Kelsall/InDaily. Inset image: Future Urban/supplied

The proposed development at 108-112a Franklin Street in the western CBD will feature 173 apartments, a 203 room hotel and a restaurant/bar and function room on level seven.

Office space, shops and 158 car parks are planned to be contained within a seven-level podium, with the hotel to occupy levels nine to 15 and apartments from level 16 to 28.

Franklin Street development

The proposed development at 108-112a Franklin Street. Image: Future Urban/supplied

Auta Group developer James Guo submitted the development application to planning authorities last week.

The Franklin Street site is currently occupied by the former Publishers Hotel, which was previously a wine bar. It was vacated in late 2019.

The more than 100-year-old building – the original home of The Stock Journal newspaper – would be demolished along with other buildings on the 2111 square-metre site, development consultants Future Urban said.

Publishers Hotel

The Publishers Hotel has been vacant since late 2019 and is slated for demolition. Photo: Thomas Kelsall

Development map

The extent of the development site requires demolition of several buildings on the site. Image: PlanSA

Despite being built in 1914, The Publishers Hotel is not heritage listed.

Auta Group’s development application represents the second attempt to redevelop the Franklin Street site.

In October 2020, the State Commission Assessment Panel (SCAP) granted planning consent to Victorian-based developer The Punvec Group to build two 19-storey towers as part of a development which would have retained The Publishers Hotel building.

One tower was to be comprised of 96 apartments while the other a 150-room hotel.

An image of Punvec Group’s plans for the site, which never materialised. Image: Hassell/supplied

But that plan was shelved in 2021 with the developers choosing to put the site up for sale. The current developer then purchased the site for $11,100,000, according to Corelogic.

The current plans include 59 one-bedroom apartments, 108 two bedrooms and six three bedrooms.

Auta Group says on its website the project will be completed in 2027.

The Publishers Hotel is directly opposite the former Franklin Street bus terminal, which the state government is planning to transform into a twin-tower complex feautuing 392 apartments, a 208-room hotel, civic centre and commercial/office space.

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