THE state government has reaffirmed it is pushing ahead with the demolition of The Store, with planning documents released on Monday revealing the iconic building will start to come down in the first half of next year.
The Review of Environmental Factors for the new bus interchange have also been released.
The bus interchange, which will be located adjacent to the Newcastle Interchange on Stewart Avenue, will take over from the current interchange at the former Newcastle station.
According to the REF, construction on the bus and coach interchange is also expected to take place in the first half of next year, timed with the demolition of The Store.
The interchange is proposed to be operational by 2019.
Revitalising Newcastle program director Michael Cassel said retaining The Store was not possible because of its condition.
“Unfortunately the buildings are in poor condition and pose a safety hazard for the community,” Mr Cassel said.
“Temporary hoarding is in place to protect the public from the risk of falling debris from the building façade, and controlled removal of the materials by accredited contractors will ensure the future safety of the site.”
Mr Cassel added that the history of the building will be ”respected in whatever comes next”.
“We know this site is meaningful to the local community because it played an important role in Newcastle’s development and as a community meeting point,” he said.
“We will ensure the history of the site is respected in whatever comes next – a heritage interpretation plan will be developed and all heritage items will be appropriately recorded and documented.”
The state government is also seeking out the private sector for commercial, retail and residential opportunities at the site.
“In coming weeks, the NSW Government will be working to identify those parties that can best deliver this key piece of infrastructure as part of a broader development on the site,” Mr Cassel said.