What’s in store: 90 metre towers confirmed for iconic city site

27/04/2020 Posted by admin

What’s in store: 90 metre towers confirmed for iconic city site A view from above. Two residential towers, the oval shaped bus interchange with a carpark on top and an office block with ground floor retail space on the corner of Stewart Avenue and Hunter Street. Image: Supplied
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A view between The Store site and Newcastle Interchange. Image: Supplied

One of three public open spaces. Image: Supplied

A view of The Store site from Hunter Street. Image: Supplied

The Store site on April 20, 2018. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

The Store site on April 20, 2018. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Andrew Constance announces The Store redevelopment plan. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

The Store site on April 20, 2018. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Newcastle lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

NSW transport minister Andrew Constance. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

The Store site on April 20, 2018. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

The Store site on April 20, 2018. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

The Store site on April 20, 2018. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

The Store site on April 20, 2018. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

The Store site on April 20, 2018. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

The Store site on April 20, 2018. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

The Store site on April 20, 2018. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

NSW transport minister Andrew Constance announces The Store redevelopment plan. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

The Store site on April 20, 2018. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

TweetFacebook The Store redevelopmentDoma Group has been chosen to perform a $200 million redevelopment of The Store site in Newcastle. Two 90 metre residential towers will change the city’s skyline, according to new plans for the iconic Store site in Newcastle West.

Doma Group has won the contract for the $200 million redevelopment ofthe land, next to the Newcastle Interchange train station at Wickham, the state governmentannounced on Friday.

The historicfacade won’t be spared whenthe building is demolished later this year, to be replaced with13,000 square metresof office space, retail premises and unit towers–expected to become Newcastle’s tallest buildings.

Read more: National Trust slams Store building demolition

Concept art released on Friday shows the towers emerging from the top of the oval shaped bus interchange–which sits under a carpark–while a new office block with ground floor retail space replaces the existing multi-level carpark on the corner of Stewart Avenue and Hunter Street.

It will bethe Canberra-based firm’s latest addition toa rapidly growing Newcastle portfolio thatincludes four developmentsin the Honeysuckle precinct,aunit blockin Wickham and a projectin Merewether Street.

The companyownsmore than $45 million worth of property across Newcastle–with its constructionprojects having an estimated value of more than $400 million.

Doma Group will also construct the businterchangeas part of the contract.

Transport minister AndrewConstance said the plan would also allow for the expansion of the city’s light rail network.

The Store site the day the redevelopment was announced. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

“The plan shows how innovative, quality design seamlessly integrates the site with the existing Newcastle Interchange and uses quality architecture that is arguably as impressive as the recent NeW Space and court house redevelopments,” he said.

“The Store site is going to be transformed just like the rest of the city to be able to cater for growth, residential, commercial opportunities.

“I know there’s been a lot of conjecture over the years as to what would happen with The Store site.

Read more:Calling time on The Store

“Well, guess what: now we’re going to see The Store site come to life in the way that The Store used to be,the heart and soul of Newcastle.”

Demolition is expected to start in June, before construction begins early next year. The project is forecast to be complete some time in 2020-21.

Doma Group managing director Jure Domazet, who Mr Constance introduced as“my long-time old uni mate”,said he looked forward to delivering“our vision and the city’s vision and the state’s vision for Newcastle”.

“The interchange is very much a transformative project for the city and we recognise [the site’s]iconic status in the past and how important it will be in the future,” he said.

The Store has a colourful place in Newcastle’s history, starting more than a century ago as theNewcastle and District Co-operative Society–thought to be Australia’s first co-op–and was the city’s retail heart for decades.

By the 1950s, it was believed to have been the largest co-operative in the southern hemisphere.

NSW transport minister Andrew Constance announces The Store redevelopment plan, flanked by Newcastle lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes and parliamentary secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

It closed in 1981 after 83 years of operation and has since been on the end of somefailed renewal efforts–including a period as theNewcastlebranch of Sydney’s well-knownParklea Markets.

The state government bought The Storefor $11 million in 2015 before the sitewas put on the market last August.

TheNewcastle Heraldreported last year that the local National Trust branchwas among those who were outraged at the prospect of the building being demolished.

Some in the community suggested thatthe facade, at least, should beretained aspart of aredevelopment because of The Store’s place in the city’s history.

But Mr Constance said the facade had“fallen into a state of disrepair that’s beyond the point where it can be salvaged”.

“So it will go, as part of the development,” he said.“Ultimately, yes, it would have been ideal if it could have been salvaged, but it’s fallen into a state of disrepair and it can’t be.”

Hunter Development Corporation dealt with the redevelopment applications.

HDC chief executive Michael Cassel said theorganisation received no applications for designs that incorporated the existing facade because thedemolitionhad already been approved.

Mr Cassel said a working group was coming up withways to celebrate the site’s history, which would be part ofthreepublic open spaces, but details had notbeen finalised.

“Part of the [review of environmental factors] that was issued byTransport included assessing the viability of retaining the facade and also about celebrating what The Store site means,” he said.

“Part of that approval required us to have a group formed with heritage architects and other people in that sector to advise us how best to interpret the history of The Store site.

“There will be a report that comes out before we start the demolition that will tell everyone how the history of that site will be interpreted.

“We can’t start demolition until that body of work is complete.”

Lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the 90 metre height of the redevelopment was part of shifting the CBD west and protecting the heritage of Newcastle’s east end.

“We have to have a good high density population to make a city work.This is what this does on this site,” she said.

“Ninety metres in the west end–that was our vision and that’s what we’ll realise.”

Newcastle MP Tim Crakanthorp said hewelcomed the announcement andlooked forward to seeing detailed plans.

“The missing piece of the puzzle for the interchange now is a ferry wharf in the west end of the city to support the continued growth of the precinct,” he said.

Parliamentary secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald said the redevelopment was“one of the missing links” to Newcastle’s revitalisation.

“There’s more to do, but we’re moving along,” Mr MacDonaldsaid.

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