A $30 million development will transform the Welcome Stranger site on the corner of Hobart’s Harrington and Davey Streets.

The 45m-high plan would see the Welcome Stranger will be replaced by a new development combining retail space, inner city living, and public open space.

The project will be undertaken by Melbourne-based property development group, Hexa.
Spokesman Ian Whitehouse said the traditional pub would close and its 24 poker machines removed.

The proposal consists of two levels of retail space, 61 car spaces underground and 52 apartments – five one-bedroom apartments, 31 two-bedroom apartments, 15 three-bedroom apartments and one four-bedroom apartment.

“The Welcome Stranger has always been a place where locals have gone to share a drink and catch up with friends, and with that in mind, the developer has created a proposal that would see retail, residential and community spaces blend seamlessly with the surrounding area to increase community amenity and provide for Hobart’s growing population” Mr Whitehouse said.

“Instead of a public bar and poker machines, it is proposed that one of the new tenants of the retail space will be a poker machine-free wine bar.

“The ground floor will see a range of retail spaces, including a café and a boutique providore and grocer with an emphasis on local produce.

“Importantly, the development will open the street level area up to the public, with access via Harrington and Davey Streets to an arcade and public open space featuring local Tasmanian art.”

Mr Whitehouse said the development would help address housing supply in Hobart.

“Hobart’s population is booming.  The project will help address housing supply and urban sprawl.

Master Builders Tasmania Executive Director Matthew Pollock said urban infill developments would become increasingly important to service a growing population, to limit urban sprawl and take some pressure off infrastructure.

“This $30 million project would also create around 100 jobs during construction and on-going jobs in the retail spaces,’’ Mr Whitehouse said.

“It is estimated that the residents of the apartment will drive over $3 million of economic activity in the area each year as well.”

Subject to approvals, construction is set to commence in 2020.