A convention centre, botanic garden, tourist attractions and an iconic building with a rooftop bar and restaurant are among some of the suggestions Novocastrians have put forward as possible uses for the remaining state government-owned land in Honeysuckle's west.
The Hunter and Central Coast Development Corporation's recent community engagement exercise unearthed a stack of ideas about how two large lots on either side of Honeysuckle Drive could be developed.
One, dubbed the Wickham lot, includes the historic School of Arts building, which lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes recently called to be spared from a wrecking ball.
The other, the Throsby lot, is on the water and will be the largest land parcel redeveloped in the area.
Retaining and reusing the Wickham School of Arts building and more "green space" were the most mentioned ideas put forward.
Ensuring open space between Newcastle Interchange and the harbour was also a common theme.
"There should be a large ground-level opening in any remaining waterfront development on the Throsby site that provides an immediate connection between the Interchange/Wickham and the [harbour]," one submission said. "This would be similar to Maitland Levee's Riverlink building but on a far grander scale. Not only would it allow for a major pedestrian access point from the West End ... but it would also provide space for markets, artistic displays, events, etc."
One of the more aspirational proposals included transforming the waterfront land into an "area like Brisbane South Bank pools and garden" flowing into the nearby hospitality precinct.
"A space that includes an impressive building alongside a tourist destination," another said. "Singapore Gardens by the Bay is the perfect example of what could be achieved - an iconic building, rooftop restaurant, next to amazing gardens and structures that will draw people to Newcastle."
Other suggestions included a convention centre capable of hosting "regional, national and international events", an outdoor "roller dance plaza like that of Venice Beach, California or Philadelphia", and a new maritime museum.
One person called for "some kind of lookout tower to have views of the harbour", but it was somewhat tongue in cheek given it carried a photo of the now long-gone Queens Wharf Tower.
HCCDC has previously said the land parcels would be developed "to bring more jobs, homes and vibrant community spaces into the emerging CBD and beautiful waterfront location".
Planning Minister Rob Stokes said last month the School of Arts' future would be determined when development proposals are assessed.
A HCCDC spokesman said on Tuesday that feedback from the consultation process would help inform planning objectives.
"We received 132 comments on our online ideas wall, 294 survey responses and another 40 responses via email and phone," he said.
"The next step is to review the feedback in order to understand the common themes. We'll then begin drafting objectives for the future use and function of the lands.
"We are also holding focus groups next week, to help refine these objectives.
"The outcomes of the engagement will be included in both an engagement outcomes report and as part of future divestment process."
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