Plans for Geocon's contentious Garema Place hotel, which have been thrust to the centre of a row over night-time noise and city vibrancy, have been formally lodged with the ACT Planning and Land Authority.
The construction giant has applied to build an 11-storey mixed-use development in the heart of the city, featuring a 212-bed hotel, rooftop nightclub, pool and ballroom.
The $120 million development's ground floor would include the iconic Gus' Place cafe. Three levels of basement carparking are also proposed, according to application documents released earlier this week for public feedback.
An independent planning study, prepared as part of the application, found the development would help reinvigorate Garema Place, which had "deteriorated over the preceding decade".
The proposal, which Geocon founder Nick Georgalis has said would define the centre of Canberra, is the third the developer has put forward since it bought the Garema Centre at 70 Bunda Street for $13.35 million in 2017.
Attracting controversy through each iteration, the project has become emblematic of a wider struggle between advocates of urban development and those seeking to protect Canberra's character.
Geocon's original proposal for a 16-storey, 233-suite hotel was met with opposition from the ACT Greens, who said the tower would cast a shadow over the city precinct.
The developer promptly reworked its plan, reducing the building's height to 11 storeys and cutting the number of hotel rooms to 191.
The planning authority approved the redesign, despite traders warning that the complex could kill "liveliness in the area".
But the developer decided to recast its vision for a second time after buying the building next door, which houses the 1967-built Gus' Cafe.
The Canberra Times revealed the latest plan on May 7, as Geocon started a round of preliminary public consultation on the proposal.
Soonafter, a fresh controversy emerged, sparked by fears the development, coupled with the ACT's restrictive noise regulations, could kill off nightlife in the area.
The head of Music ACT David Caffery said the hotel's arrival would turn the precinct into a more residential area, making nearby night spots vulnerable to noise complaints from guests.
Under existing laws, the night-time noise limit for the city and other town centres is 50 decibels, equivalent to the sound of an indoor conversation.
A "protest jam" against the noise laws was held in Garema Place late last month, with music lovers calling on the ACT government to establish "entertainment precincts" across Canberra.
On Thursday, Geocon's director of planning and development, Dan Stewart, said the so-called Canberra City Luxury Hotel would "not only embrace the nightlife around it, but add to it".
"This hotel will be a night-time destination for thousands of people looking to have a good time at any hour of the day," Mr Stewart said.
"We believe this will make the city centre Australia's most vibrant 24-hour destination. Canberra has no lock out laws, people are generally well behaved and like having fun into the early hours.
"It's the perfect location for Geocon to build this entertainment precinct."
Public feedback on the proposal is open until July 24.