Winim Developments has bought the Newcastle Beach Hotel, its second foray into the booming New South Wales city.
Winim managing director Justin Kuiters said he wanted to unlock the potential of the hotel at 21 Parnell Place, planning to renovate and reposition the asset as a mixed-use precinct.
“Winim sees Newcastle as an exciting, evolving city that is experiencing strong growth and regeneration,” Kuiters said.
“We have been looking to make our second investment in Newcastle, and we are very excited about the opportunities at 21 Parnell Place.”
The developer acquired the hotel for $13.75 million and has plans to renovate the existing accommodation and value add to the site.
A spokesman for Winim said plans had not as yet been lodged with the council and there was no immediate timeline for when the redevelopment would be undertaken.
The property is nestled on the headland above the Newcastle Baths between Nobbys Beach and Newcastle Beach, with ocean and city views.
“The plan is to retain and refurbish the accommodation component but also integrate some additional uses that will complement and enhance the hotel upgrade,” Kuiters said.
“This will be more than just a cosmetic renovation project. We aim to convert the building into a truly iconic destination for Newcastle that will appeal to residents and visitors alike.”
Winim development manager Jessica Duce said the property had potential to “breathe new life into a beautiful historic area of Newcastle”.
“It’s going to take some strategic design interventions, but when complete there will be nothing else quite like it in the area,” Duce said.
The existing Newcastle Beach Hotel is a five-storey, 47 room hotel with function rooms, a commercial kitchen, restaurant and a three-bedroom rooftop residence.
Development consent for additions to the building a change of use from hotel to residential apartments was granted in 2018, but Winim is planning a makeover and rebranding as a boutique hotel, with the potential for living, hospitality and wellness facilities.
The 1106sq m site is at Newcastle East, one of the region’s most premium suburbs, and it is surrounded by parkland and beaches.
Managing director Justin Kuiters said investment was pouring into the Hunter region as more people migrated to the regions in the wake of the pandemic.
“We’ve seen a significant increase in migration from Australia’s major cities to regional areas with the growing trend of more people working from home or working remotely, which has only been accelerated by the pandemic,” Kuiters said.
“However, above this recent trend in our consideration is the fact that Newcastle is a vibrant city in itself with all the fundamental amenities and employment opportunities on offer. Proximity to Sydney is a plus for Sydneysiders looking for a convenient getaway or perhaps considering or more permanent relocation.
“We have been interested in Newcastle for several years and we were attracted to this site for a number of reasons, almost too many to list.”
Kuiters said the “timing is just right” to diversify their portfolio further into hospitality.
“We love mixed-use development and interesting building repositioning opportunities like this where we can really add value,” Kuiters said.