Investor sought to revive Ocean Baths pavilions
City of Newcastle has advised that it will seek expressions of interest (EOI) for the redevelopment and use of the pavilion sites at Merewether and Newcastle Ocean Baths.
There have been a number of investigations, workshops and proposals over the past 10 years regarding the lease or development of the ocean baths, however Council has not had an open expression of interest for the redevelopment and use of the pavilions.
Lord Mayor Cr Jeff McCloy said “Newcastle’s two ocean baths are among the city’s treasures and should be a drawcard for locals and tourists alike, but are in a sad state due to lack of funds to upgrade them over the years.”
“You’ve only got to look at Icebergs Restaurant at Bondi Pavilion and kiosks at Merewether and Bar Beach to see how these spaces and buildings can be re-used” he said.
Opportunities may exist at both Merewether and Newcastle Baths for a commercial or development venture. Council does not have funds to undertake the work required to upgrade the pavilions and adjacent public facilities at the ocean baths and has been unable to obtain grant funding for this. The EOI process may provide access to private funding to assist with this long overdue upgrade work.
“Completion of the Bathers Way continues to be Council’s priority project and any improvements made to the facilities at the ocean baths should complement improvements to public domain spaces that we are making through coastal infrastructure projects,” said Cr McCloy.
The EOI document specification will list the required public facilities to be included in any commercial venture at the ocean baths. Currently, there is no commercial activity taking place in the pavilion at Merewether Ocean Baths. There is a current lease in place for the Newcastle Ocean Baths kiosk.
The EOI process will identify market proposals for the two sites, which will be followed by a tender process with shortlisted proponents given time to conduct a more detailed plan and feasibility.