Some told them they were “foolish” to purchase a decaying piece of Newcastle’s history.
But, upon unveiling the finished product on the site of the former Mechanics’ Institute then Anzac House in Hamilton, Bernadette Connolly could not have been more proud of the product being delivered to market.
The Frederick Menkens-designed Mechanics’ Institute, later known as Anzac House, was built in the late 1800s and at the time was described as the handsomest building of its kind in the district.
Ms Connolly and her brother Daniel, of DJB Developments, bought the site of the former Hamilton RSL and Anzac House three years ago with a vision to create something not seen before in Newcastle.
Twenty-seven apartments were built within the footprint of the former RSL and sold off the plan.
Now, the final stage of the development, designed by Snell Architecture, has been completed with four “bespoke” apartments and two “edgy” townhouses off Milton Street.
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The buildings are separated by a soaring atrium and common space.
“We had a look at the site years ago and saw it decaying and then we discussed the opportunity of an adaptive reuse project, which is obviously far more challenging than a normal raw site,” Ms Connolly said.
“It wasn’t council requirement to leave the local heritage part here, we could’ve done something different. But it was a desire of Daniel’s and mine to keep that social heritage part of Hamilton.
“In the RSL, our concept over there was just to do really good design so people had better apartment living space.
“[On the other side] we wanted to design something special that hasn’t been offered into the Newcastle market before.”
One apartment and one townhouse hit the market through the week and are both set for auction on site on May 5. Both are two bedroom and two bathroom and have been designed with luxury and sophistication in mind.
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They are being marketed by First National Newcastle City’s George Rafty. Anzac House apartment has a price guide of $850,000 to $930,000 and Milton Townhouse $750,000 to $820,000.
“If you think you’ve seen everything in terms of apartment living the Newcastle market has to offer, think again,” Mr Rafty said.
“If you want something no one else has got then this is it.
“They’re classy, unique and spacious and they offer a beautiful lifestyle. You are just steps to Beaumont Street and the shops, cafes and restaurants.”
An inspection of both is on at 1.30pm to 2pm Saturday.