marcus westbury

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Renew Newcastle: 50 projects and counting

April 19th, 2010 by marcus

With the opening of our latest group of projects, Renew Newcastle has clocked the 50 mark!

In less than 18 months Renew Newcastle has initiated 51 new projects in what was once a dead zone in the Newcastle CBD. Some have been and gone but Renew Newcastle currently has more than 30 projects that we are supporting. They includes galleries, studios, arts and crafts stores, fashion designers, a food co-op, designers, publishers, photographers and much much more. We’ve also managed to put free wifi in the mall, galvanise the Newcastle creative community and spawned similar initiatives in Adelaide, Townsville, Lismore, and interest from many other parts of the country.

The more exciting thing is the bigger picture. Renew Newcastle has been a catalyst for a pretty major transformation around the Hunter Street Mall area. It’s easy to forget that there were more than 20 empty shops in this one strip less than a year ago now. It’s certainly changed:

Hunter Street Mall pre-Renew Newcastle. December 2008.

Same area post Renew Newcastle, late 2009. Blue arrows are RN projects, yellow arrows are new commercial tenants — this is actually a few months old and things have improved since.

Of course, it’s only the beginning. A lot of Newcastle still needs a lot of work. We’ve started to move out to sites in Hunter Street West and soon over in Honeysuckle and we are always on the look out for new property owners who might be interested to participate.

If you are interested in reading more about our projects and people’s reactions, check out the media section of the Renew Newcastle web site for more about the projects and the discussions that the project has been generating.

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