Construction Update on the Waterfront Site at Newcastle’s Honeysuckle Precinct

Back in October of this year, it was reported that the NSW government has agreed to a plan for three new apartment buildings on the waterfront site at 21 Honeysuckle Drive in Newcastle. This is the first construction at the site in 10 years.

Hunter Development Corporation, the government’s Honeysuckle overseer, has awarded the contract to redevelop the prime 7300 sq m site at Lee Wharf to Doma group, a Canberra developer.

So here’s the update, The Doma group is still awaiting the greenlight from the NSW Planning Department, but construction is scheduled to begin as early as the second half of 2017.

Development Concept
Designed by Sydney firm SJB Architects, the 21 Honeysuckle Drive site will consist of three buildings with a combination of one-, two- three-bedroom apartments, stand-alone townhouses and retail shops on the ground floor.

According to Valentina Misevska, Hunter Development Corporation’s acting general manager, the redevelopment project represents a major contributor to NSW’s broader urban revitalisation program in Newcastle’s city centre.

A development application for this project is expected to be submitted in the coming months.

At this stage the plan has not been released by the government and the Doma group because the developer wants to wrap up a few features prior to submitting a development application. However, Ms Misevska revealed that a major aspect of this project will be the beautiful landscaping planned for the public promenade and Worth Place Park beside the site.

With the size and water frontage of the Lee Wharf block, it is estimated that the price could reach roughly $1500 per sq m and easily be valued at over $50 million.
The cost of development
The 252 car spaces that are there now will be lost once work starts at the Honeysuckle site. In addition, 370 harbourside car spaces near Throsby Creek will be removed with the planned development of land at Cottage Creek and Throsby Wharf. Another 180 spaces are expected to be lost if the government and the University of Newcastle strike a deal to develop three sites on nearby Wright Lane.

As a result of the looming loss of a significant number of harbourside parking spaces, the government has made a promise to implement a city-wide parking plan.

The plan will be designed by government agencies such as UrbanGrowth NSW, the development corporation and the Newcastle council, and will take into account the existing parking in the Newcastle city centre including availability, accessibility and zonings.