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Going, going, gone – East End demolition accelerates

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Newcastle’s Hunter Street Mall is one step closer to undertaking a major facelift after City of Newcastle (CN) agreed to speed up the demolition of buildings in the East End.

A Development Application (DA) lodged by Iris Capital will be expedited after the area was deemed a public health concern by NSW Police.

The buildings are located in Phase 3 the East End development, bound by Hunter, Newcomen, King and Laing streets.

It was previously home to several retail outlets and a food court.

Iris Capital
Once complete, East End Village is expected to become a vibrant urban precinct sprawling four city blocks in Newcastle’s inner-city area.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the move to accelerate the revitalisation of Hunter Street would mean a step closer towards improving the Mall area as an attractive destination for locals and visitors.

“Delivering the long overdue transformation in the Hunter Street Mall has been a vital project for City renewal,” she said.

“The initial stages highlight the overall vision for the future completed revitalisation of the heritage precinct. The next stage of public domain works are planned and ready to deliver.

“Through close collaboration with NSW Police and Iris Capital we identified that we have some public safety concerns in the final stages of the heritage revitalisation, so action is progressing on the demolition of the non-heritage buildings so the site can be adequately contained.”

Iris Capital development manager Jamie Boswell said the site completed Iris Capital’s contribution to the East End Village and the demolition was an important step towards future development.

“Along with City of Newcastle we are committed to public safety and the best outcome for the community is to progress with the demolition of the existing structure as quickly as possible,” he said.

Hunter Street Mall, Newcastle is ripe for the next stage of its East End facelift. Photo: Rebecca Riddle

The DA for demolition of the buildings follows concerns about the current state of the buildings and antisocial behaviour from members of the public and local business owners.

Police are aware of reports of antisocial behaviour in and around these buildings and will continue to work collaboratively with the CN and increase proactive police patrols in response.

Council’s executive director planning and environment Michelle Bisson said her team would undertake the assessment as a priority to ensure all requirements were met, including heritage considerations, and expected to have the application determined shortly after lodgement.

The East End Public Domain project consists of multiple phases of work with the long term vision to reinstate Hunter Street as a traditional high street and an attractive destination for locals and visitors, with outdoor dining and boutique retail opportunities.

Photo: Lily O’Brien

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