A lively, community centred development announced for Newcastle Interchange

Bates Smart are delighted to be a member of Doma Group’s winning team for The Store urban development at the Newcastle Transport Interchange. The project will reawaken an important community precinct that, when complete, will link train, bus, light rail and cars with new commercial, retail and residential development. The Interchange, located in Wickham, will assimilate with the train station that began serving Newcastle in October 2017 and the light rail now under construction.

The NSW Government has prioritized the Interchange as a key node that will drive development and economic growth in Newcastle’s future CBD. In conjunction with Doma Group, Bates Smart will lead the design of the commercial, residential and public realm components that will occupy the 12,000 square metre site.

The redevelopment will pay homage to The Store, a co-op that previously occupied the site, the design creates a landmark transport gateway that will act as a lively, urban heart for the Wickham community. The Heritage Interpretation Strategy for the project allowed the development team to come up with innovative ways of remembering the use of the site as The Store, now sadly dilapidated and neglected but in operation from 1910 until its closure in 1981.

A fine grain network of through-site links and a public plaza will ensure active edges to the development and weave together a mix of dining, retail and public spaces.

Two residential towers located above the new bus interchange and a 12 storey office tower for the NSW Government to the east of the site will provide requisite critical mass for an engaging community hub.

At the heart of the project will sit a sun filled, pedestrian oriented square for people that will operate as a modern trading store and meeting place. During the weekends, this plaza will host community activities programmed for residents and the nearby area.

Bates Smart Director Simon Swaney commented,

“This is a major development for Newcastle which capitalises on unique transport connections to create an active and varied community hub. It will help set the course for Newcastle’s positive urban growth.”

Doma Group’s General Manager for Development, Gavin Edgar said

“The Store site presented a complex challenge to incorporate a major piece of infrastructure being the new Newcastle Bus Interchange (NBI) with an integrated development that maximised the development opportunity and density being encouraged around the major transport nodes.”

“We have worked very closely with Bates Smart architects and they have come up with an innovative design solution that provides an integrated masterplan delivering a new 13,000m2 standalone office, retail and two residential towers and structured carpark that is built over the NBI designed and approved by Transport for NSW.”

Mr Edgar said,

“This project further enhances our commitment to Newcastle, and leverages our skills of delivering office buildings for Government tenants as well as complex and large scale staged residential and mixed-use development. Once we satisfy the conditions of the demolition approval we hope to be on site as early as July this year starting work”.

Doma Group and Bates Smart are also delivering the new ACT Government office in Dickson, ACT due to commence construction in early June for completion in February 2020.