Tuesday, August 24, 2010

GPT Announcement

The GPT Group (GPT) announced it will withdraw from its proposed $600 million Newcastle development.

I realise that GPT is starting to open part of the new shopping centre at Charlestown this week but It could be thought that their strategy may have been to hold Newcastle until Charlestown was ready to be on line and not allow it to be in competition.

I can recall when the earthquake hit Newcastle in Dec 1989 the new Charlestown Square was being opened and the inner Newcastle was actually closed off with road blocks and a police cordon  put in place.(This was a silly idea not of their making but was to their advantage)  This gave Charlestown’s new Square a free start without competition. They have been able to steal a march on Newcastle this time with this latest body blow.

However it was always doubtful if their huge elevated car park slap bang in front of Newcastle’s Cathedral and the proposed internal shopping Mall replacing the open Hunter Street Mall would ever be a viable proposition with or without passenger rail connection.

GPT has actually had a strangle hold over the old historic City for too long and the City should now move to encourage a more sympathetic development as was proposed with the excellent Dangar axis stairway shopping and apartment project.

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