Civic Precinct operators have hailed Newcastle's first five-star hotel, citing the increased tourism and investment it will bring as huge boosts for the City's premiere cultural facilities.
The 136-room hotel - which will be built just hundreds of metres from the doorstep of Newcastle Art Gallery, Newcastle Museum and City Hall - will transform the Civic Precinct into a thriving hub that will increase Newcastle's reputation as a key cultural and events destination.
"Newcastle Venues are thrilled that the roundhouse has been sold and will be converted into a five-star hotel," Manager of Civic Services Delia O'Hara said.
"The earmarked date for opening coincides perfectly with the completion of the City Hall refurbishment works, presenting an opportunity to really rebrand City Hall as a five-star conference venue to go alongside the five-star hotel."
Ms O'Hara said the hotel's location would open new markets for City Hall, as the residential conference market (conferences where delegates stay and conference in the same venue) is one the City hasn't been able to target until now.
She said the Newcastle Venues team will spread the word about this in the coming year when speaking with potential customers at trade shows.
News of a new five-star hotel has also delighted Newcastle Museum Director Julie Baird and Art Gallery Director Lauretta Morton.
Both are enthusiastic about showcasing the City's collection of exhibitions to a wider audience.
"It’s wonderful that investment in new accommodation is happening in the Civic Precinct," Ms Morton said.
"We are looking forward to sharing the City’s collection and our dynamic exhibitions and programs with new visitors to Newcastle and the Hunter region."
Ms Baird said: "It will mean more visitors learning about Newcastle's past, present and future while adding to the rich cosmopolitan mix of our fascinating city."
Last week the City announced that its administrative headquarters had been purchased by hospitality group Crystalbrook Collection, which will lodge plans to develop a five-star hotel featuring 136 luxury rooms, lobby bar, café with outdoor terrace and a new roof top with restaurant, swimming pool and gymnasium.
Construction and fit out of the new hotel will begin as soon as City of Newcastle staff relocate to their new office on the corner of Hunter Street and Stewart Avenue in the new CBD that is Newcastle West.
Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the hotel will reinvent the Civic Precinct."Guests staying in the luxury hotel will now be within just 100 metres walk of the Civic Theatre, The Newcastle Art Gallery, The Newcastle Museum and the Civic Playhouse," the Lord Mayor said.
"The existence of a five-star hotel complete with a light rail station immediately across from it will finally create the thriving cultural precinct our city has longed for."Crystalbrook Collection expect the hotel to be operating by November 2020, in time for the Newcastle 500.
Lauretta Morton showcasing 'the Stick Up' installation by Stephen Ormandy