New plans reveal more of Iris Capital’s Newcastle mall redevelopment

New plans reveal more of Newcastle mall redevelopment Concept plans show Morgan Street leading into steps up to King Street and the cathedral.
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Morgan Street today

A concept drawing showing Thorn Street, looking down to the mall from King Street.

Concept plans for a laneway near the existing Market Square shopping complex.

Two apartment buildings, one of them black, next to open space on the existing Market Square shopping complex, with the council’s King Street car park in the background.

A landscape plan showing how the development is laid out, including laneways extending east-west through the development.

Work on the King and Perkins unit tower is due to start soon.

Work on stage one is due to start soon.

Market Square in 1891 and this decade.

TweetFacebookNewcastle Herald reported in December that work is due to start early this year on stage one of the project, 228 apartments near the former David Jones building, after the units largely sold off the plan then won development consent from the Joint Regional Planning Panel.

The panel has now given concept approvalfor all four stages of the “EastEnd” project, which will transform the southern side of the mall into 500 units, ground-floor shops and landscaped laneways.

Artists’ renders of the plans show a landscaped Morgan Street extending into steps leading up to King Street near Christ Church Cathedral, and a laneway winding east-west from Perkins to Newcomenstreets.

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What the former owners had planned

It is understood the former Lyrique Theatre building, with its unusual portico, could be incorporated into the WolfeStreet entrance to the laneway.

JRPP member and Newcastle Greens councillor John Mackenzie said Iris Capital’s plans for stage one augured well for the rest of the redevelopment.

“Stage one has demonstrated that the developers have a commitment toboth heritage considerations and architectural excellence, and theresult strongly contributes to the preservation of Newcastle’s urbancharacter,” he said.

“I’d be hoping to see future stages of this project maintainthis approachand work in with the existing cityscape to enhance thevitality of the East End precinct.”

Iris Capital chief Sam Arnaout was in New York and unavailable for comment, but Colliers International’s Dane Crawford said on Monday that “no stone has been left unturned” to achieve the bestdesign for the EastEnd development.

Iris’s plans do not include the council’s dilapidated King Street car parkopposite the cathedral grounds, nor the Telstra exchange building on the corner of King and Wolfe streets.

Concept drawings show a bold, grey residential building over eight floors in front of the car park and an eight-storey unit tower with concrete balconies flanking a new square on the site of the existing Market Square shopping complex.

Another eight-storey apartment block at the top of Newcomen Street stands in front of the exclusive Newcastle Club, which expressed concerns last year that the tower could block its view of the harbour.

The Herald reported in November that someone had paid $6 million for the entire top floor of the Washington House unit tower in EastEnd’s stage one, smashing the Newcastle apartment price record by $1.5 million.

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