Newcastle Station leased to Renew Newcastle for 18 months, Hunter Development Corporation announces

The Hunter Development Corporation (HDC) has announced that Renew Newcastle will lead a temporary activation at the Newcastle Station next year.

The project, called Platform4, will commence in mid-2018 on an 18-month lease.

“Our concept is called Platform4, and it is based on four key pillars: People’s Platform, Innovation and Education Platform, Event Platform, and Hospitality Platform," Renew Newcastle general manager Christopher Saunders said.

“We are all about bringing the community in and supporting a broad range of activities – appealing to all sorts of people to make the Station a great place to visit again."

Hunter Development Corporation announced the partnership with Renew Newcastle on Friday, following what it described as a "competitive expressions of interest process".

Potential tenants could have included restaurants, cafes, shops and an arts space, and the plaza could be used for concerts, food festivals or as an outdoor cinema, subject to development application approval, HDC said when the call for expressions of interest were made earlier this year.

"We had a lot of interest and some strong applications, which was really encouraging," HDC chief Michael Cassel said on Friday.

"Renew created a proposal that incorporated the community feedback we received in 2016, while also showing respect to the immediate area and making sure we would complement, not compete with the existing economy. 

"Repurposing the station is an exciting milestone for us, and we believe a unique brand will leverage the site as a destination."

HDC is also expected to announce a new brand identity for the Newcastle Station in the new year.

“There’s another 500 apartments to go in on the Mall site. When you start driving all of that you need a bit more space. You can’t have everyone just crammed into one location," he said.

“I would hope that this is somewhere you can come as a young person, you can come as a young family, you can come as an old family, and there’s something on offer for you.”

The station buildings, which date back to 1878, have not been used since the last train left the station on Christmas day in 2014 and are listed on the NSW State Heritage Register.

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