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New cultural precinct reinvigorates Hobart CBD

FOLLOWING two years of planning, a new $5 million cultural and entertainment district in the centre of Hobart from Melbourne’s Riverlee and Mona’s DarkLab has opened to the public to coincide with the start of Dark Mofo 2019.

‘In the Hanging Garden’ almost encompasses an entire inner-Hobart city block including the Odeon Theatre, the renovated former Tattersall’s Hotel and a number of spaces for extensive outdoor dining, a beer garden, entertainment areas with food trucks, rotating pop-up kitchens with local businesses and night markets.

This first stage of development for the precinct was designed by award-winning Fender Katsalidis Architects and connects properties across Liverpool Street, Watchorn Street and Murray Street

It is part of Riverlee and Darklab’s joint vision to transform the site into a broader cultural precinct for the city, with private capital investment expected to exceed $200 million.

DarkLab director Leigh Carmichael said these types of projects were essential to help Hobart assert its reputation as a cultural leader in Australia.

“We have a vision for this site to become a significant cultural facility in the heart of Hobart,” he said.

“We hope it inspires a reinvigorated CBD, and that other businesses can also capitalise.

“There is momentum building in Hobart at present, and this project has the potential to be a game changer for the city centre.”

Riverlee development director David Lee welcomed cultural activity into the site to allow community feedback to help guide future development.

“It was actually David’s [Walsh] suggestion that at first we open up our doors and let the city in,” Mr Lee said.

“We agreed that before we can design a cultural precinct for the people we first need to bring the people into the precinct to give them the opportunity to explore the site, interact with the space, and to create their own culture.

“It has been an enjoyable journey thus far, and we are both excited and humbled with the opportunity to partner with DarkLab on this project to deliver something truly unique for the city.

“We are committed to our vision – to transform this site into a vibrant cultural precinct for the city and the people of Hobart.”

In the Hanging Garden includes:

Live music programmed and promoted by DarkLab from September 2019 at the Odeon Theatre (1,200 capacity).

Outdoor dining, pop-up kitchens with local producers and a beer garden that will be open seven days a week, midday to late (800 capacity).

Live music venue Altar on the ground floor of the former Tattersall’s Hotel, which will be open weekends 7pm to 11pm, as well as at other various times (400 capacity).

Nightclub High Altar on the first floor of the former Tattersall’s Hotel, which will be open weekends 11pm to 4am from September (300 capacity).

For more information, visit www.inthehanginggarden.com.au or www.altarhobart.com.au.

Caption: An artist’s depiction of Hobart’s new cultural precinct, ‘In the Hanging Garden’.