Launceston is set to enter the space age with a new accommodation offering opening this month, taking influence from Japan and seeking to bridge a gap between hostels and hotels.
When operational the new space, dubbed Pod Inn, will house guests in 60 pods with a communal area, modern amenities, and a courtyard.
Construction has been underway on the Wellington Street site since February, but owners say the project had been in the works for about two years.
Co-owners Zach Fu and Samuel Wong say they took inspiration for the venture from similar accommodation in Japan, and their recent appearance on the Sydney accommodation market.
“With the recent tourism boom – and now we’ve got the accommodation shortage – we thought this might be a really good idea,” said Mr Wong.
“It’s affordable, it’s not something that you pay a few hundred dollars to stay in.
“And then again, it’s something that’s new.”
Out of the 60 pods, 10 basic models will use a front entrance, with a further 48 arranged in dormitory-like clusters of eight accessible from the side.
Two double pods will also be available for couples, or – at the size of a queen bed – people looking for a little extra space.
The single pods measure two metres in length by one metre wide.
All feature customisable lighting controls, ventilation, charging ports, a laptop table, and a safe deposit box – along with locker storage outside.
Though weighing 300 kilograms, each the pods are portable, and arrived in the space after it was prepared by builders and the project’s architect Tim Law.
“They came flat packed, so Sam and Zach set all of this themselves,” Mr Law said.
“It took us one and a half months, pretty much eight hours a day – sometimes over,” Mr Wong added.
Pod Inn plans to settle into the old Creative Digital Printing building in two stages with the finalised accommodation first, opening on November 19 at the rear of the site.
Stage two will involve fitting out the building’s front as a cafe space.
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