$30m investment changes face of city landmark

A PART-opening of the redeveloped Latec House is about a month away, marking one of the most significant milestones in the building's transformation from a blight on the city to a landmark of Newcastle's West End.

Work on the Hunter Street building, which lay dormant for decades, began in July 2005.

The $30 million project, known as The Pinnacle, has 74 units for residential and hotel use.

The penthouse, which has not yet sold, boasts 360-degree views looking over Newcastle Harbour from the yacht club to Nobbys, and across Merewether and Bar Beach to the coast.

Developer John Waterhouse is so impressed with the results that he is relocating from Sydney to Newcastle to live at The Pinnacle.

Mr Waterhouse said yesterday that about 35 apartments had sold to investors from Sydney and the Hunter.

A new display unit will open on November 1.

He said the Grand Mercure hotel rooms were expected to take guests from late next month before the building became fully operational in February.

Project spokesman Mark Burrell said The Pinnacle would provide a significant boost to the West End.

"It's an iconic building in Newcastle because it's been derelict for so long and people have been waiting for it," Mr Burrell said.

The complex will have a pool, gym, bar, restaurant and conference room.

Terraces adjoining the main building and facing Hunter Street are also being renovated, with a day spa and beauty salon among likely uses for this space.

Modern shopfronts were demolished to reveal the terraces' original 1879 frontages.

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