Newcastle’s Hunter Street Mall is set to receive a much needed makeover, with the first stage of its planned revitalisation to start next month.
The news comes after City of Newcastle councillors voted, at Tuesday night’s council meeting, to award the construction contract to Statewide Civil.
Work will start on the block bound by Hunter Street, Wolfe Street, King Street, and Perkins Street and forms part of a wider plan to breathe new life into the city’s former commercial centre as a tourism, residential and hospitality hub.
The project is part of Council’s East End Public Domain Plan which will see new paving, landscaping and public amenity improvements in and around the Hunter Street Mall.
“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,” Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.
“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.”
Cr Nelmes added that the project complimented other improvements in the precinct including the planned refurbishment of the Victoria Theatre on Perkins Street and Iris Capital’s $750 million East End development that will see the former David Jones building transformed into the five-star QT Hotel.
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.
“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,” Iris Capital Development Manager Jamie 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 is also currently open for the demolition of the Mall Carpark after structural assessments showed it was lo longer safe for use.
Demolition is expected to commence mid-year.