Newcastle Herald site to be transformed by $42m apartment project

NEW ERA: Plans for the now former Herald building. Pictures: Fender Katsalidis Mirams Architects.

NEW ERA: Plans for the now former Herald building. Pictures: Fender Katsalidis Mirams Architects.

THE covers have come off a $42 million apartment project earmarked for the former city headquarters of the Newcastle Herald.

NINE STOREYS: An artist's impression of the proposed apartments as viewed from the corner of King and Bolton streets.

NINE STOREYS: An artist's impression of the proposed apartments as viewed from the corner of King and Bolton streets.

The owners of the site, which is bordered by Bolton, King and Newcomen streets in the city’s East End, have lodged plans with Newcastle council for the high-rise residential project.

The move coincides with the Herald’s relocation to new offices at Honeysuckle after more than a century of operations on the site.

Now owned by a Sydney-based superannuation trust fund known as AET, the historic sandstone facade on the Bolton Street face will be retained and restored. It will house new commercial space.

Behind it, the 20-year-old addition which faces King Street will be demolished to make way for 121 apartments and three levels of parking for 161 cars.

At some points, the building will soar to nine storeys, although it is restricted to five storeys on the corner of King and Newcomen streets which faces the planned development by GPT and UrbanGrowth. With the exception of a minor breach at one point, the proposed heights fall within council’s 30-metre height guidelines.

The proposed building features a wave-like design across its facades and has been designed by the Sydney office of highly-regarded architectural firm Fender Katsalidis Mirams.

The plans, on public exhibition until January 11, show three levels of basement car parking with a main entry off King Street. The 131 apartments will be a mix of one, two and three-bedroom apartments. Those on the top few levels will be afforded harbour and ocean views.

The historic, heritage-listed facade facing Bolton Street was first built in 1929 but buildings behind it have been drastically changed over the years with major renovations occurring in 1936, 1955 and in 1998.

While the development is yet to be named, it will face the City Extra apartments next door which pay some homage to the fact they’re built on the Herald’s original site, which also housed the newspaper’s printing press.

DIFFERENT ANGLE: An artist's impression of the proposed apartments, shown from Newcomen Street.

DIFFERENT ANGLE: An artist's impression of the proposed apartments, shown from Newcomen Street.

AET’s application says that its proposed development “will exhibit a high degree of design excellence”.

“The proposal will present the opportunity to adaptively revise the existing heritage building while providing a residential outcome that will assist to regenerate the urban character of the CBD,” it says.

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