HARBOUR-front real estate in Honeysuckle is on the market for the first time in a decade.
The Hunter Development Corporation has begun calling for expressions of interest to develop a 7300-square metre block of prime water-front land in the heart of Honeysuckle in a development it says will “boost” the city’s urban renewal.
The Herald understands the Lee Wharf land could fetch around $1500 a square metre, giving it an estimated value of more than $10 million.
A development on the site could top $50 million.
The Doma Group is spending $38 million on its residential and commercial building which is under construction across Honeysuckle Drive. It’s on a smaller block and doesn’t have water frontage.
But the boon for developers could mean headaches for motorists.
The site, on Lee Wharf, is currently a 200-odd car park opposite the nib building in the heart of the restaurant and bar precinct.
“The eventual development of this site will be an exciting chapter in Newcastle’s ongoing urban renewal,” Hunter Development Corporation chief executive Bob Hawes said.
“It will contribute to the high-quality public domain along the water-front, including the provision of fully landscaped parkland and wide public promenade along the harbour’s edge.”
Mr Hawes said the corporation was not ruling out a hotel but expected interest from residential developers.
He said the corporation planned to work with Newcastle City Council to find a solution to the loss in parking.
“Alternative car parking arrangements will be actively investigated while the expression of interest and development processes are underway, although I note it will be a minimum 12 months before construction would likely commence,” Mr Hawes said.
In an added boost for prospective developers, Mr Hawes said grouting to deal with mine subsidence issues would not be required, with $1 million already spent in the area before the start of the Doma development.
HDC has engaged Colliers International Newcastle to market the site.
The expression of interest period closes on May 4 and will be followed by a more detailed request for proposals leading to evaluation and selection of a preferred proponent.
Robinson Property director Guy Robinson predicted a “number of local and Sydney developers will seek out this property”.
“I would be surprised if they don’t get at least a dozen expressions of interest,” Mr Robinson said.