An exciting new era for The Station

The Station is amongst Newcastle's most treasured heritage sites, located in the city’s historic East End adjacent to the harbour and foreshore public domain. 

The Hunter and Central Coast Development Corporation (HCCDC) owns and currently operates the 1 hectare precinct, and we are excited to commence the process to identify a new operator to transform the former city railway station into a landmark tourism and hospitality destination that will be enjoyed for many decades to come.

The Station, Newcastle
 
Heritage detail at The Station, Newcastle

The Station’s long-term lease offers an incredible opportunity to shape and realise the full potential of an integral piece of the city’s history, and deliver an exceptional venue that embraces and celebrates the sites rich heritage.

Long-term lease opportunity
 

Vision and objectives

Our vision is to see The Station become Newcastle’s must-visit destination to gather, celebrate and experience a reimagined heritage space.

The Station's new operator will: 


Provide a landmark tourism and hospitality destination for all to enjoy.

  • A place where there is always something happening, and a variety of day/night offerings.
  • A ‘must-visit’ destination that attracts locals and visitors.
  • A dynamic, accessible space that positively contributes to the identity and culture of the city.
     

Embrace The Station's heritage, and it's unique attributes.

  • The Station’s heritage will be interpreted, celebrated and maintained.
  • High quality design will embrace the heritage buildings and outdoor areas.
  • A destination that integrates with its surroundings - capitalising on its proximity to harbour, beaches and transport.
     

Deliver a successful commercial operation with long-term viability.

  • A commercial enterprise of sufficient scale to ensure long-term success. 
  • Ability to meet changing market conditions for a financially viable future.

The Station’s historic assets are a nod to its great past, and exciting future.

The Station was the city’s key transport precinct for over 150 years, and its heritage buildings constructed in the 1800’s provide a beautiful example of Victorian architecture, reflecting Newcastle’s prosperity and transport history. The precinct has historical associations with the Great Northern Railway, and it was the only regional station with a silver service dining room for passengers.

The Station, Newcastle
 
Heritage detail at The Station, Newcastle
 
Heritage detail at The Station, Newcastle


The original railway station ceased operation in 2014, and since then HCCDC has delivered significant site enhancements and a temporary activation program to allow community use of the space while its exciting future is being planned.

This has included:

  • providing a temporary venue for pop-up events, shopping and recreation 
  • new opportunities for small operators to trial and build their businesses through affordable short-term leases and activation support
  • community events including markets, family days, fitness classes, music and food festivals.

Temporary activation

The Station’s temporary activation has provided a great stepping stone for the sites future, and HCCDC will continue to enable pop-up retail and event offerings in the space until at least mid-2025 while its long-term use is being determined.

Long-term lease opportunity

The process to identify Expressions of Interest (EOI) for a future use for The Station is now underway.
The Station, Newcastle

EOI's close 2 May 2024.

Colliers International Newcastle is marketing the opportunity to determine the best possible outcome for the site. The competitive EOI process will be followed by a shortlisting of proponents who will be invited to submit detailed proposals.

To request an Information Memorandum, or learn more about the opportunity and EOI process, contact:

Peter Macadam
National Director | Commercial Sales and Leasing
Colliers International

Phone (+61) 0402 074 159
[email protected]

 

Michael Chapman
Associate Director | Commercial Sales and Leasing
Colliers International

Phone (+61) 0402 724 841
[email protected]


 

More information, Q&A


What’s changing at The Station?

We are seeking an experienced operator to restore, maintain and manage the historic site under a long-term lease, providing certainty for The Station’s future.
 



Will events, functions and other activities continue at The Station?

Pop-up events and functions will be able to continue at The Station until at least mid-2025 while the sites long-term use is being planned – and the adjoining Market Street Lawn community space will remain available for market days and outdoor events into the future.

We are seeking an operator who will re-purpose and transform The Station into a must-visit destination with a variety of offerings. Whilst The Station’s long-term use will look different to how it looks now, the continuation of events and functions is still consistent with our vision and objectives for the site, and may still be part of the final outcome determined through the EOI and detailed proposals process.
 



What will happen to existing tenants?

We will see a transition from temporary to permanent use when the new operator begins management and restoration of the site. Outcomes from the EOI and detailed proposals process will provide us with a clearer timeframe for this.

The Station’s current tenants all operate on short-term leases and have been kept fully informed of plans to determine a financially sustainable future use for the site. They will be provided plenty of advance notice when the time comes that their leases are no longer able to be extended.

In the meantime, HCCDC will continue temporary management of the space enabling pop-up events and retail offerings until at least mid-2025 while the sites future use is being determined.
 



Why is the Government offering this site for lease?

A financially sustainable outcome is needed to enable heritage restoration and provide long-term certainty for The Station.

The Station is amongst Newcastle’s most treasured heritage sites, and much loved by the community. A long-term tenant will be appointed to ensure the historic site will be maintained, and that it is able to be enjoyed by the community for many decades to come.

An experienced private sector operator will be best placed to manage a sophisticated, highly activated and viable tourism attraction for the long-term. The EOI process will give us the best opportunity to deliver a restored, dynamic and accessible activation outcome for The Station.
 



Who currently manages the site?

HCCDC owns The Station and is managing temporary activation of the site while its long-term use is being determined.

Once the long-term tenant’s lease commences, the new operator will take over management and commence restoration - whilst the site itself will continue to be owned by NSW Government.
 



Does the EOI consider what the community wants?

Yes. We know The Station is much-loved, and the community doesn’t want to see its historic buildings fall into disrepair or be left unoccupied.

We engaged with community about their ideas for The Station’s future use via the Revitalising Newcastle Ideas Festival. Overall people supported restoration and reuse of the site, and told us that the precinct should be a hallmark destination to attract visitors and tourists to the city. This feedback has helped inform our Project Vision and Objectives.

The EOI and detailed proposals process will allow us to identify the best opportunity to deliver a restored Station with a use/s that incorporates the community’s ideas while providing an economically and socially sustainable attraction for the city.  

A successful long-term outcome will ensure the community can continue to enjoy The Station for many more decades, and maintain its special place in the community’s heart.



Does the site need further refurbishment?

Yes. The second and third floors of the building(s) are in a dilapidated state. 
 



Will the heritage elements of the site be retained?

Yes. The Station is a significant historic site, and we are committed to ensuring its heritage features are maintained and celebrated, and that they do not fall into disrepair.

The site is State heritage listed, and placed in a Conservation Zone. We are seeking a high quality outcome that embraces its heritage, and any proposed changes or refurbishment must respect the sites heritage value, and will need to be approved by the Heritage Council of NSW.

Some heritage features of The Station include:

  • its 19th Century Victorian railway buildings
  • the Station bell and train timetables
  • the original passenger platforms
  • preserved railway seating
  • platform shelters and awning details
     


What is the zoning for the site?

The site is zoned SP3 Infrastructure Tourist under the Newcastle Local Environmental Plan (LEP) 2012, and we are seeking to identify and exceptional tourism and hospitality outcome in line with this zoning. You can find out more about the zoning by viewing the LEP on City of Newcastle’s website.
 



How long will the planning and approvals process take before new works commence?

We expect this could take 18 months or longer from commencement of the new lease. The timeframe will be dependent on the proposed use, and it is important that all care is taken to ensure a responsible, sustainable and viable outcome for the future.
 



What will happen if a long-term operator is not found?

The Station is an important asset to the city, and we are focused on identifying an outcome that embraces the sites heritage, and provides long-term certainty for its future.

The EOI process is the first step towards identifying potential proponents who can deliver on our vision and objectives for the site. If the right operator isn't found through the EOI and detailed proposals process, we will continue working with Government to find a solution that ensures The Station's ongoing use and viability as a celebrated heritage site.

Contact us

EOI enquiries

To request an Information Memorandum, or learn more about the opportunity and EOI process, contact Contact Colliers International, Newcastle:

Peter Macadam
National Director | Commercial Sales and Leasing
Phone (+61) 0402 074 159
[email protected]

Michael Chapman
Associate Director | Commercial Sales and Leasing
Phone (+61) 0402 724 841
[email protected]


Media enquiries

Media enquiries and information for journalists, contact:

Sarah Collins
Senior Communications Manager, HCCDC
Phone (+61) 02 4904 2792
[email protected]


General enquiries

For all other enquiries contact HCCDC:

Hunter and Central Coast Development Corporation
Phone (+61) 02 4904 2750
[email protected]