Syrian billionaire businessman Ghassan Aboud hopes to open his five-star hotel in the Newcastle council "Roundhouse" in early 2021 after winning development consent for the project.
The council approved the $24 million redevelopment this week, but not before removing the Brutalist building's proposed new crowning glory, a series of spires ringing a new restaurant deck.
The developer agreed to delete the "blades" after the city's Urban Design Consultative Group rejected them as too prominent, especially given the building's proximity to City Hall.
"The vertical masts or blades formerly proposed on the roof of the development have been deleted in the current architectural plans in order to address concerns expressed by the UDCG and council officers that these blades created a roof design that was visually competing with the adjacent City Hall and its clock tower," council staff wrote in a report to councillors this week.
Architect Barney Collins said Mr Aboud's Crystalbrook Collection hotel chain was happy the project had been approved "pretty quickly" and planned to start work when the council vacated the City Administration Centre late next month.
The council has told the Newcastle Herald that it is on track to move into its new offices in Newcastle West in early October, though call centre staff will work out of a shopfront in Beaumont Street, Hamilton, until the first-floor fitout is complete.
Crystalbrook's plans for the hotel, to be called Kingsley, include 130 wedge-shaped rooms and a rooftop restaurant and pool inside a new six-metre glass addition.
The company paid the council $16.5 million for the building this year.
The Kingsley, the city's first five-star hotel, is one of three major redevelopments poised to further transform the civic precinct.
The council approved $71 million in development applications in one night on Tuesday, including Doma Group's nine-storey residential and commercial redevelopment in Merewether Street.
Doma bought part of the former rail corridor last year and amalgamated that land with a site it owned next door at 1 Merewether Street.
But it withdrew an application for a development which incorporated the corridor land and instead proceeded with an earlier DA for 48 units at 1 Merewether Street.
The council is also weighing up an application from GWH for an eight-storey office building on the rail corridor near the intersection of Hunter and Darby streets.
In Newcastle West, the council has approved new plans for a 20-storey apartment block in Denison Street, near the Cambridge Hotel.
The council approved a 15-storey unit block on the same site in 2017, but the developer has applied successfully to add five more floors.