McCloy's plans for former Lucky Country hotel site

HUNTER produce, wines, street art and a tree through the middle of the hotel are part of the plans unveiled by developer Jeff McCloy for the former Lucky Country Hotel site in Hunter Street.

Demolition on the $6.5million development has started and construction is scheduled to begin in February.

The three-storey building, on the corner of Crown and Hunter streets, Newcastle, will have two levels operating as a hotel and 15 rooms for accommodation on the third floor.

It is scheduled to be finished in July next year and Mr McCloy is excited about his latest inner-city makeover.

‘‘It is exciting and it’s going to be a great way to rejuvenate the area with a substantial street scape change,’’ Mr McCloy said.

‘‘We’ve put in an amended [development application] because we’re actually going to keep a lot more of the site in its original form that we first thought.

‘‘Once we started the demolition work we found a lot of exposed timber beams and floors that we will keep and the facade is heritage listed so that will obviously stay.

‘‘There will be lots of open space and a huge tree in the courtyard with a retractable glass roof on it will look really good.’’

The Bank Hotel was first built on the site in 1860 and demolished in 1877 when Jesse Ireland built the Oxford Hotel, completed in 1880.

It remained the Oxford Hotel until Tooth & Company sold the brewery in 1977 and the name was changed to the Lucky Country Hotel.

Mr McCloy said he would change the name of the hotel again but would leave that decision up to staff members.

A staunch anti-graffiti advocate, Mr McCloy believes there is a place for street art done properly and plans to have it on show in his hotel.

‘‘We’ll have panels of street art internally and externally and I’ve got to discuss it with the art gallery but we could also sell the art for them,’’ Mr McCloy said.

‘‘It’s all part of the local theme with everything in the place coming from the Hunter.’’

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