The first stage of City of Newcastle’s revitalisation of the Hunter Street Mall will start in May after Councillors voted to award Statewide Civil the construction contract last night.
The $5 million project is part of the East End Public Domain Plan which will see new paving, landscaping and public amenity improvements in and around the Hunter Street Mall.
Work will start on the block bound by Hunter Street, Wolfe Street, King Street and Perkins Street, and is part of a broader plan to reinvent the city's former commercial centre as a tourism, residential and hospitality hub.
Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said City of Newcastle is committed to delivering well planned infrastructure for a growing city.
“The vision of the East End Public Domain Plan looks to reinstate Hunter Street as a traditional high street and an attractive destination for locals and visitors, with outdoor dining and boutique retail opportunities,” Cr Nelmes said.
“The project will increase accessibility and public amenity and will be complemented by trees and plants to create a greener city centre.
“With its central location close to Newcastle Beach, the Harbour and bars and restaurants, this upgrade will provide a boost for nearby businesses and create a high street in keeping with our status as an emerging global city.
“The project complements other improvements in the precinct including Iris Capital’s $750 million East End development which will see the former David Jones building become a five-star QT Hotel, and the planned refurbishment of the Victoria Theatre on Perkins Street.”
The first sub-stage of work will include stormwater upgrades, reinstating a kerbed road on Hunter Street, paths for pedestrians and cyclists, and will incorporate smart lighting, public Wi-Fi and electric vehicle charging points.
Iris Capital Development Manager Jamie Boswell said the upgrade strengthens the Mall’s appeal to visitors.
“Like so many Novocastrians, we’re thrilled to see Newcastle’s historic mall come back to life with new development, residents, retail options and now improved public space,” Mr Boswell said.
“The improvements City of Newcastle is making in the area means the transformation we’re seeing through new high-quality development will be complemented by attractive and active public space for residents and visitors to enjoy.”
A tender for the demolition of the Mall Carpark is currently open following structural assessments that showed it was no longer safe for use. Demolition is expected to commence mid year.