The federal government's plan to merge Centrelink offices in Newcastle into one mega-office has raised the prospect of Doma changing its plans for The Store site.
Doma has won concept approval for a $200 million redevelopment of the Store and has already started building a 12-storey office block, bus interchange and car park.
But its two proposed 30-storey residential towers, which would be easily the city's tallest, could change into part commercial space if the company ends up tendering successfully for the 8100 square metres of offices the Department of Human Services is after.
Doma wasn't saying much when we asked if they were interested in lodging an expression of interest in the Centrelink plan.
But other industry types have told us it would make sense for the city's dominant property player to put up its hand for the Store site to accommodate Centrelink in the middle of what is shaping as Newcastle's new central business district.
Doma has already knocked up several buildings for the feds, including one for the National Archives in Canberra and tax offices in Albury and Gosford. The NSW government will be the anchor tenant of the firm's 12-storey offices at the Store.
Doma is building the Lume and Huntington apartments on the waterfront at Honeysuckle, but units at the Store may be a tougher sell given the bad publicity apartment towers have been getting lately.
Topics has been told the government looked at combined office space for Centrelink in Newcastle a few years back, but it turned out to be just a tyre-kicking exercise.
Watch this space.
Great news for Newcastle after Touch Football Australia announced us as the nation's "home of international touch football" on Tuesday.
No.2 Sportsground will host the Youth Trans-Tasman Test Series over three days next week, prompting the governing body to anoint the city in a media release.
The last time the event was held, in 2015 in Sydney, a youngster called Kalyn Ponga was one of the stars of the show.
The competition features Australian boys, girls and mixed under-18 and under-20 teams playing against the Kiwis from Friday, January 24, to Sunday, January 26.
Speaking of which, Newcastle council has an action-packed day of activities planned to celebrate the annual round of navel-gazing and nationalism that is Australia Day.
Local world champion Lauren Parker will help launch proceedings when she competes in the City of Newcastle Oceania Paratriathlon Championship race from 7am, before those (fool)hardy souls splash down for the Newcastle Harbour Swim.
Civic Theatre will host 270 new Australians in a citizenship ceremony in the morning, and the foreshore area will bustle with entertainment, food trucks, parkour and skateboard workshops and a water park.
Fort Scratchley's guns will fire at 11am, 1pm and 3pm.
Lake Macquarie has an afternoon of activities planned for Speers Point Park, culminating in fireworks and a performance by Aussie rockers Thirsty Merc.