The next chapter for one of the city’s most historic sites could finally be about to be written after expressions of interest for the former Newcastle Post Office were opened on Friday.
However, there appears to be many hoops to go through before the city’s once crowning glory is handed a lifeline.
Colliers International Newcastle are marketing the landmark building, with expressions of interest closing November 16.
Built in 1903, the heritage-listed building at 98-100 Hunter Street is now a decaying eyesore and hopes of restoration have had many false dawns .
But Adam Leacy, of Colliers International, believed “now is the right time” and said expressions of interest were the first step in what he hoped would see “a positive outcome”.
“The expressions of interest process is a call for proposals, for people to come to us and tell us what they have in mind – whether they want to buy it outright, whether they’d like to do a joint venture,” Mr Leacy said.
The property is an asset of the Awabakal Local Aboriginal Land Council, which was put into administration by the NSW government last October. That administration period ends on October 12.
Administrator Terry Lawler and Awabakal Local Aboriginal Land Council chief executive officer Rob Russell will liaise with Colliers International, then take any proposals deemed appropriate to the land council.
“It belongs to the land council and the members were approached before Christmas about what to do with it and they voted to seek expressions of interest, regarding either a sale or development, to see what the market would bring,” Mr Russell said. “The power of the land council remains with members and, ultimately whatever proposal is given to us, if the members don’t vote, it won’t go ahead.”
A spokesperson from the office of Sarah Mitchell, the NSW Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, said “a sale of an asset owned by a land council can proceed under an administrator, but any decision will have to be agreed to by the land council’s members”.