An abandoned power station near Newcastle that has lain idle for more than 30 years has been listed for sale.
An expressions of interest campaign is now under way to find a developer up to the challenge of adapting the historically significance Wangi Power Station into a 60,000sq m development.
The power station came into operation in 1958 and at one point was the largest in NSW.
The station was eventually deemed surplus to requirements and decommissioned in 1986. All of the power generation and associated equipment was removed, save for a few heavy gears and skid mounts.
The power station sits at the centre of a 22.3ha plot of mostly untouched land close to the coast.
Consisting of two large stations, “A” and “B”, the huge building and its vast grounds also include former administrative and staff areas.
There have been proposals for its redevelopment over the years but the enormous scale of the site, which would require millions of dollars of investment, has meant nothing has come to fruition.
The site has both R3 Medium Residential zoning and Zone B4 Mixed Use, meaning an eventual project could encompass a substantial residential, retail, commercial or even tourism development.
Lake Macquarie City Council chief executive Morven Cameron said the prospects for the site and a proposed community-centric development would provide lasting benefits for both the building and the region.
“We see it as an iconic building and we also see it as a real opportunity to continue this journey of diversifying our economy,” Cameron said.
Colliers International are managing the listing on behalf of the owners, the McDonald family.
“This site presents the opportunity to develop a national icon, not dissimilar to developments such as the Battersea Power Station in London or the Casula Powerhouse Museum,” Colliers’ Nick Estephen said.
“With zoning for both mixed use and medium density residential and more than 20ha near the water, the site is primed for redevelopment.”
Newcastle has quickly become a major regional hub largely due to its strong ties to tourism and the resources sector, as families and retirees who have been priced out of the Sydney market flock to the city and its surrounds.
“As Sydney becomes more unaffordable for many, new locations with excellent proximity to major markets by road and air such as Lake Macquarie are increasing in popularity,” Collier’s Peter Macadam said.
“The lifestyle offering is attracting a skilled workforce, which in turn is attracting new business and the Wangi Power Station provides the perfect opportunity to capitalise on these factors.”