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A glimpse of East End final stage

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Two-hundred and 35 rooms spanning five buildings, 1,731 square metres of retail floorspace and 300 parking spaces – that’s what awaits visitors at the completion of the final stage of Newcastle’s East End revitalisation.

With an estimated construction cost exceeding $150 million, architects, designers and developers say this development is a case of ‘saving the best for last’.

Gathering in the sunshine at the Hunter Street entrance of QT Newcastle on Friday, representatives from SJB, Durbach Block Jaggers and Curious Practices proudly displayed their winning design for stage three and four of Iris Capital’s development of Morgan and Newcomen Streets.

Render of the winning East End final stage design

A market square public space concept and perimeter colonnade, multiple public viewing corridors to the harbour, integration of green spaces, and a distinct character for each building, are design elements that secured the trio’s design as the winning entry.

For SJB director Adam Haddow, whose support for the development meant he purchased his own apartment in stage one, connection is at the heart of the revitalisation.

“It has always been about connecting the cathedral to the harbour,” he says.

“It’s a path that would have been well-worn in the past and by creating spaces that link, like the marketplace, we are re-establishing that connection.

Connecting the harbour to the cathedral

“We wanted to create beauty, light and joy for the people of Newcastle and I really believe we’ve done that.”

Iris Capital CEO Sam Arnaout agreed.

“It’s been a journey of six years to date. We purchased the site from Urban Growth in 2016,” he recalled.

“We delivered as promised on Stage One and by all accounts it’s been well received by both the people of Newcastle and stakeholders.”

Mr Arnaout, who opts to refer to the development as “the village”, believes the buildings, many maintaining their original facades, are pieces of art in their own standing.

And while the total cost of the redevelopment was first estimated at $880 million, it is almost certain to exceed the $1 billion mark before its completion.

A development application for the site will be lodged by Iris Capital by the end of this year.

Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen, Iris Capital CEO Sam Arnaout, and SJB director Adam Haddow.

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