MEDIA RELEASE 31 March 2017

The transformation of the former Empire Hotel site in Hunter Street Newcastle West is a big step closer with the $29 million redevelopment obtaining development approval.

The planned development is a 14-storey residential building, with affordable housing, incorporating commercial office space and retail at ground floor.

Hunter Development Corporation CEO Michael Cassel welcomed the development, saying it would bring much-needed affordable housing units to the Newcastle city centre.

“This investment by the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle will make a substantial contribution to housing supply and urban renewal at the same time.

“I am very pleased the Hunter Development Corporation (HDC), on behalf of the NSW Government, has been able to attract this development to the site, which has been dormant for too long.

“By stepping in, purchasing the site, demolishing dilapidated structures and marketing the site, HDC is bringing about tangible urban renewal.

“Rather than being a symbol of urban decline as it has been in the past, this site will soon be transformed into a symbol of the urban renewal that is occurring all over the city centre.

“This project will help to contribute to the resurgence of the west end of Hunter Street, which is already in the midst of a renaissance.”

“This is a great site for a mixture of homes and commercial activities, being in close proximity to the harbour and Marketown shopping complex.

“It is also only a few hundred metres from the Honeysuckle light rail stop and the Newcastle Interchange,” Mr Cassel said.

The development will provide for 128 residential units including affordable housing, which are certainly needed.

It will also provide off street parking for 136 vehicles as well as bicycle and motorbike parking.

Construction is expected to commence in late 2017.

Media contact: Luke Mellare 0447 264 755