Honeysuckle HQ

In Newcastle, we are transforming the final Honeysuckle lands into an enviable and vibrant destination where the new CBD meets the waterfront.

Named ‘Honeysuckle HQ’, the site will become a magnetic destination with quality connections that focuses on community, new economy and excellence, while enhancing the natural environment and local heritage.

Project status

We are working with 3 shortlisted proponents to help deliver on the community’s aspirations for a dynamic mixed-use precinct in Honeysuckle HQ.


Honeysuckle HQ is a priority project for HCCDC. With high-quality architecture and design incorporating accessible and dynamic day and night offerings, it will enhance the city’s cultural, social and economic offerings.

The objectives for Honeysuckle HQ are to:

  • create a magnetic mixed-use destination
  • create a great place that is connected
  • respect and acknowledge heritage and culture
  • show excellence in design and sustainability
  • be people-focused and accessible.

About the site

Honeysuckle HQ is located at the western end of the Honeysuckle precinct and includes 2 parcels of land known as Honeysuckle Quays and Honeysuckle Quarter.

Honeysuckle Quays

The last remaining waterfront development site, Honeysuckle Quays is located on the northern side of Honeysuckle Drive, at the Hannell Street intersection.

Honeysuckle Quarter

The gateway development site, Honeysuckle Quarter is located on the southern side of Honeysuckle Drive, at the Hannell Street intersection.

Public domain

The remaining lands also feature 2.03 ha of public domain, which we will transform in line with the Honeysuckle Foreshore – Public Domain Plan.


Honeysuckle HQ artists impression
Honeysuckle HQ artists impression

Our approach

Community input and working with highly experienced and motivated development partners are key to delivering Honeysuckle’s pinnacle offering.

Key milestones include:

Apr 2021Completed community engagement
Sep 2021Registrations of interest
May 2022Expressions of interest
Sep 2022Response evaluation and form shortlist
Oct 2022Call for detailed proposals from shortlisted developers
May-Nov 2023Process on hold for incoming NSW Government to assess land use

Frequently asked questions

Is Government selling the land?

Government is seeking a development partner that has experience in delivering quality placemaking and design outcomes to create a waterfront destination where people want to be. The final commercial arrangements will be subject to this competitive process.

How will the detailed proposals be evaluated?

Proposals must deliver on the project Vision and Objectives, and will be evaluated using the following criteria:

  • Masterplanning and design 
  • Placemaking and activation 
  • Economic stimulation 
  • Transaction terms and risks 
  • Capability and experience 
  • Financial offer and security 
  • Environmental sustainability 
  • Social impact 
  • Heritage and culture. 
What uses are permitted for Honeysuckle HQ land?

Honeysuckle Quays
The northern side of Honeysuckle Drive is zoned MU1 Mixed Use under the Newcastle Local Environmental Plan 2012

The zoning objectives are to:

  • generate employment through a diversity of business, retail, office and light industrial land uses
  • provide diverse and active street frontages to attract pedestrian traffic and to contribute to vibrant, diverse and functional streets and public spaces
  • minimise conflict between land uses within this zone and land uses within adjoining zones
  • encourage business, retail, community and other non-residential land uses on the ground floor of buildings
  • support nearby or adjacent commercial centres without adversely impacting on the viability of those centres.

Honeysuckle Quarter 
The southern side of Honeysuckle Drive is zoned E2 Commercial Centre under the Newcastle Local Environmental Plan 2012.

The zoning objectives are to:

  • strengthen the role of the commercial centre as the centre of business, retail, community and cultural activity
  • encourage commercial development that generates employment opportunities and economic growth
  • provide a high level of accessibility and amenity, particularly for pedestrians
  • enable residential development consistent with the Council’s strategic planning for residential development in the area
  • provide diverse and active street frontages to attract pedestrian traffic and to contribute to vibrant, diverse and functional streets and public spaces
  • provide for commercial floor space within mixed use development
  • strengthen the role of the city centre as the region’s business, retail and cultural centre
  • retain and create view corridors.
Will Honeysuckle HQ be mostly apartment buildings?

Honeysuckle HQ will be a landmark, mixed use destination that will incorporate a range of uses befitting its waterfront CBD location. While diverse housing is one component of a successful CBD, so is retail, business, entertainment, hospitality and community space.

How much of the land will be dedicated to public green space?

We have set aside $25 million and two hectares of harbourside land for community spaces including a waterfront promenade, two new parks and the naturalisation of Cottage Creek.  

We delivered the first of these parks, Honeysuckle Park, in 2021. The naturalisation of Cottage Creek and the next phase of Honeysuckle’s promenade was completed in 2022. The remaining public domain will be delivered in stages to coincide with the surrounding developments.  

While 2 hectares of green space will surround Honeysuckle HQ, we are also asking developers to provide additional public spaces within the precinct.  

What social, environmental, and economic factors will be included in this development?


New spaces will be delivered that are attractive and accessible so they can be enjoyed by the whole community. We are encouraging potential development partners to consider innovative ways to integrate social equity into Honeysuckle HQ. This could include elements such as housing diversity, community places, active spaces and more.


Honeysuckle HQ presents an opportunity to set new sustainability benchmarks for the region. We have set minimum sustainability benchmarks and have identified four sustainability areas that have the most potential to deliver significant benefits:

  • Climate Change
  • Energy and Carbon
  • Water
  • Biodiversity


Honeysuckle has already delivered a diverse mix of residential, commercial and retail outcomes, attracting $1 billion in private investment. Honeysuckle HQ provides an exciting opportunity to further diversify Newcastle’s day/night economy, providing enterprises that attract residents and visitors to the waterfront and CBD areas every day, every night and on weekends. We are encouraging proposals that inject new economic activity though the delivery of jobs, tourism and retail opportunities.

How long will a planning and approvals process take before we see an outcome for the Honeysuckle HQ site?

We will take the time needed to ensure we find the best development partner to deliver a great outcome on this site. The development partner will then be required to obtain all planning approvals prior to commencing the staged delivery of this long-term project.

What happens to the land in the interim?

Honeysuckle HQ will be delivered over many years and developers will be asked to consider temporary uses for the site. The temporary Throsby commuter car park will remain in place for the time being.  

Are you ensuring that the former Wickham School of Arts building will be retained?

We've asked potential developers to incorporate the building into their proposals, provide adaptive reuse and run a design competition to include the public space next to the building.

The future use of the building will be considered as part of the assessment of proposals and how well they deliver on the project vision and objectives.

What community engagement took place?

In 2020, we invited the community to share their ideas and aspirations for how the final development of Honeysuckle lands should emerge, with a special focus on social, economic and environmental outcomes.
The community identified bold and ambitious objectives that will guide the future divestment of the Quays and Quarter land parcels.

What cultural consultation took place?

In mid-2022, we invited Aboriginal community members to join the conversation about how we can include local Aboriginal culture and heritage in the Honeysuckle HQ development. The feedback gathered is summarised in an outcomes report that we provided to shortlisted potential developers.

This information will help these developers incorporate Aboriginal culture and heritage values in their detailed proposals. The successful development partner will continue to engage with the local Aboriginal community to embed an enduring connection with Country in the delivery and operation of Honeysuckle HQ.

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