A Newcastle building that was once the source of news and entertainment place for Novocastrians is set to be transformed into five boutique, luxury apartments.
Construction work is well advanced on converting the building that previously housed the studios of radio station 2NC (now 1233 ABC Newcastle), at 47 Newcomen Street, Newcastle.
All of 1233’s current weekday presenters (Garth Russell, Paul Turton and Paul Bevan) worked in the building at some time, as did Newcastle’s first, full-time, radio presenter, Geoff Moore. The station’s first full time female radio presenter, Libby Saunders, broadcast a popular morning program from the site. Long-time announcer John Clarke and former TV News presenter John Church started their radio careers doing weekend shifts from the building in the early 1980s. Other well-known ABC presenters Mickey de Stoop and Madeleine Randall also informed and entertained audiences from the building.
At the time, the building housed three studios including a giant, groundfloor studio that contained a grand piano and was also used to hold live, classical music performances.
When the ABC moved to its current Newcastle West studios in 1993 the building became commercial premises.
In its new life, the aptly named Broadcast House, will consist of three three-bedroom and two two-bedroom apartments.
The apartments are being constructed by local firm W.A. Brown and have been designed by EJE architecture.
Jeff Kerr from W.A. Brown said the building’s design is an opportunity to create unique inner city living spaces not seen in other apartments on offer.
Jeff said no two apartments in Broadcast House are alike. One will have a rooftop terrace. All have high ceilings with most between 2.4 and 2.9 metres.
The apartment incorporating the former recording and TV studio has a four metre high ceiling.
“This is a very attractive, sympathetic reuse of a building that has an interesting history and is located in an historical part of the city,” Jeff said.
Newcastle’s first Wesleyan Chapel opened on the Broadcast House site on 29 June, 1845.
The development is opposite Newcastle’s oldest, intact, Victorian Georgian residence, Claremont House which is now listed with the National Trust and part of the Newcastle Club.
The apartments are expected to be completed by early Spring.
PRD Newcastle and Lake Macquarie’s Newcastle New Projects division has been appointed to sell the apartments and is now seeking expressions of interest.
PRD principal Mark Kentwell said based on recent sales of the Parque Apartments in Bolton Street he expects these apartments to be snapped up.
“There is high demand from people who are downsizing as well as professionals and modern families,” Mark said.
“Many people and looking for inner city convenience instead of the backyard 10 minutes out of town,” he said. “People also want something a little different and this development fits that bill.”
Image | Artists impression of the interior of one of the apartments