Mantra on MacArthur Offical Opening

16 October 2017

Northbourne Avenue as a major arterial road is a major nightmare at the moment as work on the light rail carves into the once easy entrance and exit from the city precinct. But we will endure the inconveniance, just as we do all the current knock down rebuild, dig up and fix up of so many parts of the city.

But in the midst of this chaos a formidable piece of infrastructure on the MacArthur Avenue/Northbourne Avenue corner has been saved and repurposed from an office block to a hotel with clever planning and thoughtful design.

The Mantra MacArthur is a 10 storey 176 room hotel among a plethora of new units and urban renewal in an ideal location with a light rail stop destined for its significant corner at 219 Northbourne Avenue, Turner.

Officially opened by Steve Ciobo, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment and Gordon Ramsay, ACT Attorney General, with all the usual glowing accolades for those who’ve spent the money and made this office block into something quite extraordinary while I just marvel at how smart it looks and what a good idea to resist the knock down rebuild mentality.

The hotel is owned by the HTI Group, who invested $19 million into the retrofit designed by AMC Architecture, and has all the expected requirements of a modern hotel with a gym, conference and meeting places and a bright and inviting restaurant called Podilato and featuring Mediterranean food. At the moment it is a bit of an obstacle course to get to on this busy street as other nearby buildings give it a building site feel, but the future looks bright for this newbie in what’s being called a ‘Midtown Precinct’. Not quite midtown, but definitely not downtown.