$8.5 billion of construction to transform Newcastle

$8.5 billion of construction to transform Newcastle

27 April 2018

$6.5 billion worth of infrastructure planned or under way and nearly $2 billion in private development projects is transforming Newcastle into a construction zone, reports The Urban Developer.

Record activity in the construction and mining services sectors, booming trade volumes through the Port of Newcastle, and unprecedented infrastructure investment are fuelling growth and activity in the city not seen since the GFC.

Colliers International, a leading property manager in the Hunter Region, said the city should expect to see cranes in the sky for at least the next five years.

“There has never been so many tradies in town,” says Colliers’ Newcastle director Chris Chapman. “The coffee shops used to be full of young professionals; now they’re filled with tradies. And this is only the beginning, we’re only just getting started.”

Property Council Hunter director Andrew Fletcher said demand for residential property in Newcastle was “the strongest in history”.

Some of the big-ticket projects reshaping the city include:

  • The $200 million Newcastle Interchange at Wickham opened last October. The interchange serves as the “gateway” to the city centre and forms a major transport hub linking trains, buses, taxis, and from early 2019, the Newcastle Light Rail.
  • The $260 million Newcastle Light Rail network now under construction will provide a frequent and reliable travel option throughout the city centre, connect key activity precincts, reinvigorate Hunter and Scott streets. The 2.7 kilometre long network will carry 1,200 people per hour with turn-around times every 7.5 minutes during peak periods.
  • The NSW government’s “Revitalising Newcastle” program has invested $95 million in the University of Newcastle’s city campus, NeW Space. The university expansion plans should double the number of students in Newcastle’s CBD, which currently stands at 3,000.
  • In 2016, a permanent multi-purpose cruise ship terminal was announced, securing Newcastle as a future cruise ship destination.
  • Population growth, low unemployment, and a nearly 50 per cent price disparity compared with Sydney has fuelled significant residential development in Newcastle. Apartment stock has increased 50 per cent in the last year, with 300 apartments released on to the market in 2018, increasing to 428 in 2019 and 478 in 2020.
  • Recent development in the city’s West End includes a $14 million Denison Street tower for 58 apartments, a $125 million plan to convert the Wickham Woolstores into 310 units, and the Doma Group’s $37 million Bishopsgate development. A flurry of other residential and commercial projects
  • Due to be completed in mid-2019, the Verve Residences will be the tallest building in Newcastle. The $130 million development will reach 19-storeys and is one of many residential and commercial projects under development.

Colliers Director (Industrial) Trent Robertson predicts increasing demand for owner occupier commercial premises, industrial strata units, and industrial land.

“The value and lifestyle offering of the region is also playing a major part in generating leasing enquiry with significant enquiries being received originating from outside the Hunter region,” he said.

“With a diverse and stable economy, strong jobs growth, low unemployment and stock undersupply, I challenge anyone to find a better place than Newcastle, across all of Australia to invest in,” Colliers International director of project marketing Dane Crawford said.

To see the latest 3D animations of Newcastle’s city centre will look in 2019, click here.