Honeysuckle sites for sale: map

Graphic Mandy Graham Honeysuckle site for sale. Picture Anita Jones
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Honeysuckle site for sale. Picture Anita Jones

Honeysuckle site for sale. Picture Anita Jones

Honeysuckle site for sale. Picture Anita Jones

Honeysuckle site for sale. Picture Anita Jones

Honeysuckle site for sale. Picture Anita Jones

Honeysuckle site for sale. Picture Anita Jones

Honeysuckle site for sale. Picture Anita Jones

To see the interactive map,click here.

THREE prime city sites with a collective value of more than $10 million are being put to market by the Hunter Development Corporation, sparking local and national interest.

HDC general manager Bob Hawes said the release of 16 and 18 Honeysuckle Drive and the former Empire Hotel at 643-651 Hunter Street in the West End would fuel the momentum of the Newcastle city centre revitalisation program.

The move comes a month after NSW Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian announced two tenders to kickstart the government’s pledge to bring light rail to the city centre.

Mr Hawes said it was too early to say whether the state government’s Newcastle Urban Renewal Strategy (NURS) would boost the value of the HDC sites but said the government’s plans were ‘‘freeing up opportunity’’.

‘‘It is making it more clear to the people out there, investors and developers, as to what is expected and what the vision is for the city,’’ he said.

‘‘For some of them, the concept of dismantling the rail corridor and doing something else is attractive; to me it’s an additional enabling mechanism that is incentivising people to go ahead and do something or get interested again in the city.’’

To read the Herald’s opinion, click here.

The site at 18 Honeysuckle Drive, which is beside NIB’s headquarters, was valued at $4 million when the University of Newcastle was considering it for its inner-city campus in 2009, before it opted for a Hunter Street site.

Commercial sales director Chris Chapman declined tocomment on what the 4129-square-metre site may fetch but she expects offers to trump the 2009 valuation.

The site’s revised potential from commercial to mixed use would attract commercial, hotel and residential proposals.

The second HDC site is next door at 16 Honeysuckle Drive, where the Nathan Tinkler-backed Buildev Group had DA approval for its failed $55 million Honeysuckle Central project, billed as crucial to easing a severe shortage of A-grade city office space.

HDC terminated its agreement with Buildev in December after it failed to stump up the $6 million required to settle on the 8000-square-metre site.

Crucially, Mr Hawes said the corporation would give an undertaking to cover the cost of some and possibly all of the remediation work to resolve mine subsidence issues at 18 Honeysuckle Drive, and was considering doing the same next door.

The third city site is the former Empire Hotel site on the corner of Hunter and Steel streets, which HDC bought more than two years ago for $2.3 million on behalf of the state government.

In July, Newcastle City Council approved a plan to redevelop the 2000-square-metre site as affordable housing, with HDC contributing the land and seeking expressions of interest in construction before transferring ownership to NSW Housing.

A key industry source said the HDC sites would collectively carry a conservative price tag of just over $10 million at current market rates. Mr Hawes said HDC had received unsolicited approaches from local and national parties on all of the sites.

‘‘Melbourne and Sydney are hot markets and there are guys down there who can’t or don’t want to compete because the margins are getting smaller. They are now starting to look at regional markets, and Newcastle is an ideal opportunity in that respect.’’

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