THE transformation of Honeysuckle will take another giant step with the Hunter Development Corporation unveiling a new $45 million four-star hotel to once again change the skyline.
The hotel – which will be built opposite the harbour and near the future Newcastle light rail stop – is being lauded as a future gem of Newcastle's tourism offering, bringing with it “much-needed” rooms to the city centre.
Located on Honeysuckle Drive next to Hunter Water’s headquarters, Canberra-based Doma Group’s hotel pitch was selected from a range of proposals for the 3700 square-metre vacant block, which was released to the market late last year and settled for an undisclosed amount.
HDC said construction was tipped to start mid-2018, dependent on planning approvals, and would create 60 jobs upon completion and more during construction.
The hotel will have 149 four-star rooms; 62 residential apartments; five serviced apartments; and more than 1000 square metres of commercial and restaurant space.
A shortage of parking in the Honeysuckle area could be eased if the hotel’s parking space is made publicly available, which HDC says is a possibility.
“Newcastle’s revitalisation has been gathering momentum for quite some time and this project is further proof of a city really maturing into a diverse, vibrant place,” HDC chief executive Michael Cassel said. “This is hardly surprising given the momentum being generated by the Revitalising Newcastle program and the $500-plus million investment being made by the NSW Government.”
Mr Cassel anticipated Doma Group to lodge a development application “within four to six months”.
HDC will undertake mine subsidence remediation works for the site, he said, while Doma agreed to contribute to the landscaping of public space near the Cottage Creek stormwater channel.
Property Council of Australia Hunter director Andrew Fletcher welcomed the proposal.
“To become a world-class regional capital Newcastle needs world-class tourism developments,” he said.
“This certainly fits the bill.”
The hotel will be Doma Group’s third development in the Honeysuckle precinct.
The developer already has plans for three new buildings on prime waterfront land at 21 Honeysuckle Drive, although a development application for that project is yet to be lodged.
It has also completed a mixed-use commercial and residential building at nearby 18 Honeysuckle Drive.