For sixty years, the land at the end of Hall Street, Maryville was home to the headquarters of the Hunter Research Foundation - an organisation devoted to cutting-edge international research.
So it seems only fitting that a pioneering residential development will take its place when the foundation relocates to the University of Newcastle next year.
If an $8.5 million proposal put forward by Mavid Group is approved by Newcastle Council, the site will soon become home to the city's first BOD - or 'Bicycle Oriented Development'.
Appropriately named 'Velocity', it would include 33 new townhouses along Throsby Creek, each with bicycle access to the front entry and on-site bicycle parking.
A second development application has been lodged to fund the creation a three-metre wide cycleway and board walk on council-owned land alongside Throsby Creek, complemented by a number of new cycleway access points.
Development Manager for Mavid Group, Peter Childs said the plans had been worked up in consultation with internationally respected expert Dr Steven Fleming, who has advised on the design of cycleways in Holland.
“There’s a growing cycle culture across the board in Newcastle,” Mr Childs said.
“Suburbs like Maryville, Wickham and Tighes Hill currently have the highest rates of cycling to work. Part of that is their proximity to the township and that the area is pretty flat.”
Each of the two-storey townhouses, designed by CKDS Architecture, will have three bedrooms and ground floor decks, providing an alternative offering to the federation cottages and high-rise apartments in the area.
“It is a lower density environment but still within close reach of the restaurants, cinemas and the beach,” Mr Childs said. “It is very rare to come across a site of this size, immediately adjacent to the existing cycleway network.”
Subject to approval, construction will begin in the second quarter of next year.
“What better legacy for the research foundation than something that helps stimulate public wellbeing and social health,” Mr Childs said.
Full circle in Merewether Heights
A new generation of families are settling down in Merewether Heights as long-time residents downsize into apartments or retirement villages.
Dalton Partners selling agent Anthony Merlo said the suburb was seeing a changing of the guard as residents left behind their homes of 40 to 50 years.
One of those families is the Sharp family, who have been at 90 Rembrandt Drive for more than half a century. Their much loved three-bedroom property will go under the hammer on-site at 12.30pm next Saturday, with a price guide of $750,000.
The home was built for the family when Merewether Heights was a fledgling suburb and young couples would buy land to build their dream home, as is the case now in suburbs like Fletcher and Wallsend.
Mr Merlo said the suburb had experienced a strong resurgence in popularity in recent years as first-home buyers were priced out of inner coastal hot spots like Merewether and Cooks Hill.
“These established 1960s and 1970s homes provide great potential for buyers to renovate,” he said.
THE SPRING FLING
The spring weather is upon us and auction fever has gripped First National Newcastle City, with 15 properties to go under the hammer on November 6.
The mega-auction – known as the ‘Spring Fling’ – will be run from its offices on Kemp Street at The Junction.
Principal George Rafty said the response had been ‘overwhelming’ and they would have listings to appeal to every buyer. Part of the proceeds will be donated to the Hunter Medical Research Institute.