Work on stage one of the Hunter Street Mall redevelopment will start early next year after the project won approval from the Joint Regional Planning Panel on Thursday.
The first stage of the “East End” development includes 228 apartments, many of which have sold off the plan, spread over four towers.
The development approval includes a laneway beside the former David Jones building, ground-floor shops and a landscaped square.
Colliers International director Dane Crawford, who is managing sales for the project, hailed the approval as a “key moment in the history of Newcastle”.
“We are really pleased with the JRPP’s decision,” he said. “I truly believe this is the first mark of our city becoming a world-class destination.”
Iris’s $221 million development will eventually cover 1.66 hectares over four blocks and include 500 units.
The developer plans to start grouting work on stage one in the new year.
Work is expected to start in February on demolishing the former David Jones car park to make way for the King and Perkins apartment tower.
Newcastle Inner City Residents Alliance have a say
The Newcastle Inner City Residents Alliance has spoken out against the demolition of the David Jones multi-level car park on King Street.
NICRA requested the JRPP insist the four-stage East End project start elsewhere on the site and leave the car park intact until work on the city’s light rail line was finished.
“The decision to commence the project with the demolition of the DJs car park will have a devastating impact on traffic and parking in King Street, which already is a traffic disaster zone,” NICRA spokesperson Dr Lyndall Ryan said.
“With too few parking options, the loss of the car park at this stage will make the CBD inner-city even more inaccessible.
“What provision has Newcastle City Council made for the many people who currently use this public car park?”