The heritage-listed former Newcastle Post Office will soon be brought back to life.
After purchasing the property in 2018, surgeon and hotel mogul Dr Jerry Schwartz is set to revitalise the site.
He hopes it can reopen early next year.
The first hurdle has been passed, with the removal of asbestos almost complete.
However, the next big hurdle, according to Dr Schwartz, is gaining development approval from the City of Newcastle.
Dr Schwartz and his team are working through the long process.
He hopes the City “will be happy” with what they have planned.
“I am as frustrated as anyone else,” he said.
“I am keen to get things moving.”
The basement will become the Aboriginal cultural centre, which Dr Schwartz promised to the Awabakal people.
The top floor is set to transform into a conference centre for events, while the first floor will include a series of shops.
Dr Schwartz said the cultural centre was the first part of the renovations they wanted to address because the top floors would be a big restoration project.
Apart from the post office, Dr Schwartz has also launched another project at Lovedale in the Hunter Valley.
He will open a five-megawatt solar farm, consisting of over 13,000 panels, next month.
The $8.5 million investment has a five-year payback period and will deliver a C02 reduction of more than seven million kilograms per annum.
After one year of operation, Dr Schwartz will be able to use the solar farm to power his hotel, the Crowne Plaza.
“After five years, I’ll get free power,” Dr Schwartz said.
“It will make the hotels really sustainable.”
He plans to own and create more solar farms to power his hotels and properties in the future.
He said these farms were about “maintaining our earth”, looking at the big picture, and cost effectiveness.
“One has to be able to find mechanisms to help cost,” he said.
The solar farm highlights the importance of renewable energy, while Dr Schwartz also bids to attract more tourists to the Hunter Region.
“My whole mantra is to help tourism,” he said.