Doma Group set to build Newcastle’s largest standalone office

The 12-storey building is part of Doma Group’s wider $200 million project to regenerate once-iconic retail site The Store. Picture supplied

Doma Group has lodged plans with Newcastle City Council to build what would be the city’s largest standalone office.

Part of the Canberra-based developer’s wider $200 million project to regenerate once-iconic retail site The Store, the $54 million 12-storey building will provide 15,000 square metres of A-grade office space in the city’s west end, and sit alongside twin apartment towers and a bus interchange that Doma Group has also agreed to construct.

The New South Wales government bought the site in 2015 after a handful of failed rejuvenation projects, and announced in April that Doma Group had won the tender to develop it.

“We have worked very closely with Bates Smart architects to create an innovative design for the renewal of the site, in conjunction with Transport for NSW and Hunter & Central Coast Development Corporation,” Doma Group general manager Gavin Edgar said in a statement released on Monday.

In that same statement, managing partner of Bates Smart Simon Swaney described the project as “a revitalised public domain and a high-quality collection of new buildings that are seamlessly knitted together by accessible and active spaces” and confirmed the building would be “anchored by NSW Government tenants under a pre-commitment for 10 years with Property for NSW”.

While local politicians and members of the local business community have welcomed the plans, others, such as the local National Trust branch, have expressed dismay at the planned demolition of the building’s original facade, describing its impending loss as a dark moment in the ongoing fight to preserve the city’s cultural history.

NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance conceded as much in April, before stating that the developers had no choice in the matter.

“Ultimately, yes, it would have been ideal if [the facade] could have been salvaged, but it’s fallen into a state of disrepair and it can’t be,” NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance told reporters in April.

The project expects to welcome its first tenants in late 2020, and marks Doma Group’s seventh investment in Newcastle.

The developer’s local construction projects now have an estimated value of more than $400 million.