Urban development at the Newcastle Transport Interchange is expected to reawaken an important community precinct that, when complete, will link train, bus, light rail and cars with new commercial, retail and residential development. 

In conjunction with Doma Group, Bates Smart will lead the design of the commercial, residential and public realm components that will occupy the 12,000sqm site.

As part of the project’s Heritage Interpretation Strategy, the design will pay homage to The Store, a co-op which previously occupied the site from 1910 until its closure in 1981.

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

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 for residents and the nearby area.  

“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,” says Bates Smart director Simon Swaney.

“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,” adds Gavin Edgar, Doma Group’s GM for development.

 “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.”

Construction of the development is expected to take place this year.