The Verve apartment building in King Street is looking down on everybody.
The twin towers will eventually become the first building to reach the 60-metre height limit in that part of Newcastle West, but it can already lay claim to being the city’s tallest structure.
As the large yellow numbers stamped on its concrete lift well attest, the north tower of the Miller Property Corporation building has hit the 16th floor, making it taller than the likes of the Aero and Pinnacle apartment developments nearby.
Verve developer Warwick Miller, who built the nearby Castle Tavern in the 1970s, gave the Newcastle Herald a tour of the building, including a preview of the views from the 15th level.
The builders still have five floors to go before topping out, but even from 15 floors it is apparent that some of Verve’s future residents will enjoy unprecedented panoramas of the city and harbour.
Mr Miller likes the view so much he is returning from Sydney to Newcastle to live on the 18th floor.
Asked how he felt to be building the city’s tallest structure, he said it was a “bit of a shock”.
“No matter how much you look at plans and things you’ve built, you don’t realise how big it is until it’s there. It’s very exciting. I’m going to live here. Not right on the top, but very high.”
The two towers are linked by a cavernous podium structure made of sculptural pre-cast concrete and glass.
Mr Miller, who is a big fan of architectural concrete, said the podium would open out onto public and private gardens and cafes next to a Cottage Creek boardwalk.
The building will also have a five-storey concrete public art installation on King Street representing the stratified coal seams that lie under Newcastle.
Mr Miller praised the involvement of Sydney architect Philip Thalis, the original designer of Sydney’s Barangaroo precinct, in Verve’s design.
“It’s his form, these beautiful, angulated, pre-cast concrete pieces along the facade,” he said.
He said he had sold most of the units in the development before starting construction but had held back some on the highest floors to sell this year.
The building will be finished in June.
Several other developers are planning residential towers to match Verve’s height in Newcastle West.
The only part of Newcastle with grander height limits is around the Newcastle Interchange, where Canberra developer Doma Group has lodged a master plan for a $200 million redevelopment including two 90-metre residential towers.
But, until that happens, Mr Miller and his new building will sit head and shoulders above the rest.