Think HBR

Exciting precinct approved in Newcastle West

711 Hunter Street

Newcastle West can now be transformed into a thriving mecca of culture, creativity, entertainment, and convenience as the West Village development at 711 Hunter Street officially gets the go-ahead by the Hunter Central Coast Regional Planning Panel.

The development, on the former Spotlight site, is a joint venture between Spotlight Property Group and St Hilliers, who in collaboration with Plus Architecture have conceived a sustainable and culturally diverse precinct for the emerging western corner of the Newcastle CBD.

The approved project will see the development of the site - currently home to commercial and carpark premises, into a mixed-use precinct with a curated ground plane experience featuring podium levels of retail and commercial tenancies, multi-storey food and beverage opportunities including an open-air bar, and two residential towers home to 257 apartments above.

St Hillier’s Development Manager Luke McNamara said West Village is more than a residential apartment development.

“From the outset the development has committed to a significant public art programme that celebrates Newcastle’s thriving arts scene combined with a curation of ground plane tenancies. As part of the Development Consent, all retail and food and beverage offerings have a pre-approval to operate, including a three-storey venue with an open-air bar. This pre-approval will go a long way to streamlining the process for future businesses seeking to be part of the precinct.

“It was also important that the design was sustainable and ‘future-ready’, with the development committing to 90MW of rooftop solar panels and 300 electric-vehicle-ready car parking spaces, making it the first development in Newcastle to strive for 100% of future residents and commercial staff the ability to charge their vehicles. It will also feature an end-of-trip facility, and around 300 bicycle parking spaces in both secure and public areas,” Mr McNamara said.

The approved development will also allow for the return of a large swathe of public domain back to the community at the ground plane, with an urban plaza fronting National Park Street featuring the public art precinct, and a through-site connection to the Drill Hall Gallery and Birdwood Park.

Essential to the design process by Plus Architecture was the Government Architects Design Competition process, the first of its kind for a private development in Newcastle. Other features included the incorporation of a suite of sustainability features, a ground plane allowing for a mix of creative business, designers, coffee shops, galleries, restaurants, and public art.

Plus Architecture Director Rido Pin believes that the practice’s approach will be an asset to the community.

Pin comments: “As Newcastle, like other regional hubs across Australia expand at pace, it’s critical that new developments are designed with their long-term future in mind and consider the varying and changing needs of their users.”

“Our two-tower design, featuring iconic sculptural curves, will create a landmark destination for the whole community - Newcastle locals and visitors alike.”