Milestone reached in Newcastle CBD affordable housing development

Dec 06, 2019

A new affordable housing development at Merewether Street Newcastle is one step closer to completion, with construction having reached the highest point of the building.
The milestone was celebrated with a ‘topping out’ celebration on Thursday 5 December, organised by design and construct builder GWH and attended by Deputy Lord Mayor of Newcastle Declan Clausen.

“Today marks a great milestone in a project that is widely supported in our community. Initiatives which supply more affordable living whilst activating key sites in the CBD are something the City of Newcastle is very supportive of,” said Mr Clausen.

Representatives from Evolve Housing and Hunter and Central Coast Development Corporation (HCCDC) were also in attendance.

A topping out celebration is a tradition in the construction industry that involves temporarily placing a tree on top of a building when construction reaches its highest point.

Newcastle based company GWH began on-site works in July 2019 with the ground floor slab and vertical structure started in September. Utilising its vertically integrated companies within the Hunter Construction Group, GWH have completed a structural floor every two weeks.

With internal fitout now underway it’s expected the public will get its first glimpse of the unique brickwork façade in March 2020 ahead of the expected completion by mid-2020.

The development, at 4 Merewether Street Newcastle, will feature 30 residential apartments dedicated for affordable rental housing, able to accommodate up to 78 people.

There will be 1, 2 and 3-bedroom apartment options, available to eligible applicants on low-to-moderate incomes, and there will also be four apartments set aside for Specialist Disability Accommodation.

Residents will enjoy light-filled apartments with high-quality finishings, and will have access to a ground floor car park and communal roof top terrace area. There will also be three retail tenancies in the building.

Evolve Housing, one of the largest community housing providers in Australia, won the tender to deliver the project after a competitive Expression of Interest process in 2018 with the HCCDC.

The development application design was prepared with Sissons Architects as lead designer, and Evolve Housing received development consent from the City of Newcastle in December 2018.

The purchase of the land from the HCCDC was finalised in February 2019 and then local builder GWH Build were selected as the project design and construction contractor.
Evolve Housing CEO Lyall Gorman said that Evolve Housing was proud to be delivering much-needed affordable housing in the Newcastle CBD.

“Newcastle is experiencing steady growth, as people from across New South Wales and even interstate seek to take advantage of the beautiful environment and employment opportunities on offer here,” Mr Gorman said.

“This is a very exciting time in the city of Newcastle’s evolution, and it is vital that housing options continue to grow in sync with the population so that workers on all levels of income have access to housing.

“We are delighted to be able to offer high-quality affordable housing for the people of Newcastle, and are happy to be celebrating this construction milestone as it means that the property is one step closer to completion and welcoming its first ever residents.”

GWH Managing Director Jonathan Craig said the whole company relish being involved in projects such as this.

“Making it possible for community driven, like minded people to be able to live in a quality development close to the community they work within, is fundamental to our business and we’re very proud to be working with Evolve Housing on this project,” said Mr Craig.

The properties will be advertised via online real estate listing websites closer to the completion of 4 Merewether Street, Newcastle, expected to be in mid-2020.


About Evolve Housing

Evolve Housing is one of the largest Community Housing Providers (CHP) in Australia with over 3,500 properties under management in NSW. Our properties are located across 38 local government areas with 60% located in the high need area of Western Sydney. We believe in everyone’s right to a home, somewhere they can feel safe, secure and engage with their community. Our purpose is to enable more people to live in quality homes in thriving and inclusive communities. We provide our residents with support and opportunities to help them maintain their tenancies, improve their well-being and enhance their ability to participate within their community and the broader economy.