Hunter Development Corporation to reap millions from Honeysuckle sale

MONEYSUCKLE: Hunter Development Corporation chief executive Michael Cassel at 35 Honeysuckle Drive on Thursday. The site is expected to fetch more than $10 million. Picture: Marina Neil
MONEYSUCKLE: Hunter Development Corporation chief executive Michael Cassel at 35 Honeysuckle Drive on Thursday. The site is expected to fetch more than $10 million. Picture: Marina Neil

New Honeysuckle site on market

HUNTER Development Corporation is expected to reap more than $10 million from the sale of one of the final pieces of waterfront land in Honeysuckle.

In the fourth Honeysuckle Drive site released to the market in as many years, the state government agency announced on Thursday it had listed the former rail yards and cargo wharves at 35 Honeysuckle Drive for sale, with new high-rise at the site appearing likely.

The land – bordered by the current Lee Wharf car park to the east, and Steel Street to the west – is 5250 square metres in size.

Based on current market trends, where CBD land is fetching nearly $2000 per square metre, the site is worth more than $10 million.

It's one of the last pieces left

Colliers International managing director Chris Chapman

Colliers International, which is handling the sale, expects demand to be strong as the block is one of the final pieces of the Honeysuckle renewal puzzle. “It’s a site of very significant value, it’s no question,” Colliers’ Newcastle managing director Chris Chapman said, adding that there would be national interest in the land.

“It’s one of the last pieces left. Once urban renewal reaches the final stages, you do see an uplift in value.”

The release to market comes hot on the heels of Doma Group’s development application for the neighbouring 21 Honeysuckle Drive, which is presently occupied by a car park.

NEW LOOK: An artist's impression of the design for the new 21 Honeysuckle Drive residential apartments to be developed by Doma Group.

NEW LOOK: An artist's impression of the design for the new 21 Honeysuckle Drive residential apartments to be developed by Doma Group.

The Canberra-based firm plans to build a $58 million residential building there. 

The firm also has a proposal for a $45 million hotel slated to be built on another vacant block on Honeysuckle Drive.

HDC chief executive Michael Cassel emphasised that the government wanted design excellence in Honeysuckle.

The land would be sold in a two-stage process, Mr Cassel said, to establish “a new benchmark for quality design in the precinct”.

CHECKING IN: An artist's impression of Doma Group's $45 million hotel proposal for Honeysuckle. Construction is expected to start mid-next year

CHECKING IN: An artist's impression of Doma Group's $45 million hotel proposal for Honeysuckle. Construction is expected to start mid-next year

Expressions of interest for the site would be called for ahead of HDC creating a shortlist of proponents.

Shortlisted proponents would then be able to “request for detailed design and financial offers”.

HDC would “design and deliver” public works between the site and the harbour – including an eight-metre public promenade.

“This two-stage process will ensure design excellence is realised in the built form, evolving the architecture and creating great public spaces will ensure demand continues,” Mr Cassel said.

HDC said it would retain the proceeds of the sale.