From wool storage to family-friendly hotel apartments in Hobart
Before its transformation into a collection of family-friendly hotel rooms and serviced apartments, The Old Woolstore Apartment Hotel had a history as fascinating as that of Hobart, Tasmania itself.
Today, the hotel is located close to the historic waterfront in the Hobart CBD on land originally known as Wapping and later referred to as Sullivan’s Cove. The site was first occupied by shanty housing before being turned into a wool storage and treatment facility around the turn of the 20th century. Roberts Ltd, an agricultural company, operated the wool and grain store. Wool was brought from all over Tasmania to be pressed and then shipped from Hobart’s bustling port.
The top floor of the building was used for wool treatment and, therefore, required the natural light offered by the striking saw-tooth roofline. This style of roofing allowed the maximum amount of light into the room for the weaver’s benefit.
In later years, the area was used for storage of other agricultural products. Farmers could drive their vehicles in one double door, deliver or receive their goods and then drive out the other. These double doors form part of the restored exterior.
The National Trust has listed the parts of the building as being of historic importance and as such, both the facade and the saw-tooth roofline are features that must remain in tact. The Old Woolstore was awarded “Best Redeveloped Industrial Building” in 1997 by the Trust.
The original floors have been maintained and, rather than destroy original equipment used at the wool store, many have been retained and incorporated as features in the corridors and common areas of the apartment hotel.
Following a joint venture agreement between the original developer, Orpin Pty Ltd and C+Bus Superannuation, work began on Stage II during June of 2000. The addition of 124 apartments and purpose built meeting and conference facilities was completed in October 2001. Stage II is located on land adjacent to the original development and is one of a number of developments in the Wapping/Sullivan’s Cove area in recent years.
In October 2006, Orpin Pty Ltd once again became the sole owner of The Old Woolstore Apartment Hotel, Hobart, Tasmania.