200 spaces for park-deprived Honeysuckle

PLANS: An artist’s impression of Doma’s Little National Hotel proposal for Honeysuckle. The development will have 200 car spaces.

THE Doma Group has announced it plans to add 200 public car parking spaces as part of its Honeysuckle hotel development –a move that puts the private sector at odds with the state government’s view that there is an “oversupply” of long stay parking in Newcastle.

The Canberra-based firm, which has emerged as one of Newcastle’s biggest developers in recent times, thanks to land releases in Honeysuckle, identified the demand for parking on the waterfront and responded.

Domageneral manager development Gavin Edgar said the 200 spaces are proposed as part of the $45 million Little National Hotel.

The car parks would be made available during the day when they are typically not used by guests.

“Whilst we are fully supportive of the light rail we do recognise the demand for parking in the area and have tried to cater for that by our public parking component in the Little National Hotel,” Mr Edgar said.

The Little National Hotelin Honeysuckle replicates a hotel of the same name built by Doma in Canberra.

At Little National Hotel Canberra, the car park is managed by Wilson Parking, which Mr Edgar said was a successful model.

In addition to adding 200 spaces in Honeysuckle, Doma is also in talks with Newcastle City Council about adding a basement car park to a future development on Merewether Street.

That car park would service the nearby law courts and museum.

While Doma is adding 200 spaces to Honeysuckle, about 800in the area are set to go by 2020, swallowed up by new development.

A state government parking strategy released earlier this year shows the majority of those spaces won’t be replenished.

And the report identified an“oversupply” of parking in the city centre –a finding which has been criticised.

The report recommended a range of strategies to manage parking, including more park and ride facilities, technology improvements and car sharing schemes. Park and ride facilities would be investigated “where possible” with a review of bus routes to be undertaken by Newcastle Transport.

The review is expected to be finished by next year.

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