New era for Bolton Street: Family Law Court and Parsons Brinkerhoff buildings up for sale

FOR SALE: The Family Law Court currently occupies one of two buildings up for sale on Bolton Street, both built in the 1980s and owned by Coal Mining Services Australia.

FOR SALE: The Family Law Court currently occupies one of two buildings up for sale on Bolton Street, both built in the 1980s and owned by Coal Mining Services Australia.

Newcastle’s east end is in a period of transformation and nowhere is that more pronounced than on Bolton Street, the city’s oldest legal and financial precinct. 

Over the past year, the courthouse has relocated to the west end, the Newcastle Herald has vacated its headquarters to be replaced by apartments, and the Parque development has been earmarked for the site of the old Community Justice Centre. 

Now two more buildings have hit the market – both owned by Coal Mining Services Australia and housing the Commonwealth Family Law Courts and Parsons Brinkerhoff engineering firm respectively. 

61 Bolton Street was purpose built circa 1980 for the Federal Court of Australia and consists of five storeys of commercial office accommodation and 41 car spaces. 

The building – on a 1448 square metre block –  is fully leased to the Commonwealth Government at a net rate of $851,000 per annum. 

Agent Matt Kearney of Colliers International said the current lease would expire in November 2023 but pointed out that courts were “not easy things to pick up and move.” 

“There’s a lot of infrastructure that goes into creating those court facilities,” he said. 

Colliers is also taking expressions of interest for 51-55 Bolton Street, currently occupied by five tenants including Government Property NSW, Braye Cragg Solicitors and major engineering firm Parsons Brinkerhoff. 

The four storey building, on a 2181 square metre allotment, was also constructed in the 1980s. The site also includes a single level heritage-listed building known as ‘Rose Cottage’ at the rear of the main building and approximately 44 car parking spaces. 

Fully leased, it would bring in a net income of $1.174 million per annum 

Mr Kearney said it had significant redevelopment potential, and its zoning – R4 High Density Residential – would allow for a number of uses including a hotel, university accommodation, collaborative medical or retirement living. 

“With the gentrification of Newcastle and the baby boomers moving from the suburbs into the CBD, the next life of this building will be very interesting,” Mr Kearney said. 

“That’s a potential next life as commercial, but it could have a different use altogether as a hotel, or another interesting use could be a high-care aged care facility almost like a hospital, or as a medical facility. 

“The leases are in place so there will be no changes in the short-term but who knows what the buildings will look like in the future.” 

The buildings are being offered for sale individually or in one line, with expressions of interest closing on November 17. 

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