LAST DRINKS: Cambridge Hotel to make way for student accommodation

Asoka Elon

Last drinks will be called at the Cambridge Hotel in June 2023 to make way for Linkcity’s multi-million-dollar investment into inner-city student accommodation in Newcastle.

While the prominent art deco 1940’s building on the corner of Wood and Hunter Street will be retained as part of the redevelopment, Linkcity says that a licensed venue in student accommodation does not meet their objective of providing a safe sanctuary for young people that may be living away from home for the first time.

The project includes the heritage adaptation of the Cambridge Hotel and integration of the original building into a first-class food and beverage venue, some additional service retail and the first-floor hotel rooms into the student common areas.

The mostly rendered ground floor facade will be home to dining and retail outlets while the upper level of the corner building will have some of the old pub bedrooms re-used as music, study, podcast, e-sports rooms.

Linkcity Australia Managing Director Nicolas Swiderski said they have been looking for a site in Newcastle for a few years now and this one is perfect.

“The project aligns with the 2041 Hunter Regional plan for a 15-minute city, with the students having a very short commute to the University of Newcastle NUSpace and Honeysuckle Campuses either walking, bike riding or one light rail stop. Additionally, students will be able to hop on the train two stops to the traditional Callaghan campus. There is also a hotel next door for visiting friends and relatives,” Nicolas Swiderski said.

“Our goal is to create a safe sanctuary for young people that may be living away from home for the first time and, we will partner with Australia’s most experienced student accommodation provider UniLodge to make sure we achieve this goal.”

The proposed building will be 19 storeys with 500 rooms giving students the choice to live in shared cluster flats, which each have shared semi-private lounge and dining quarters, or single studio or shared studios.

“Providing more student accommodation in the city centre is a priority action for the city’s revitalisation and the redevelopment of this site delivers on that action in spades. By providing 500 additional beds in the city centre for students, will hopefully also free up some of the rental housing stock which is in such high demand.”

“If approved, this will be first purpose-built accommodation for students in the city centre and we are excited to be able to lead the way in providing a high quality, smart and sustainable development for what is arguably our most informed and consequence conscious generation.”

Timeline for the redevelopment of the Cambridge Hotel site

MARCH 2022: Submit a proposal for a pre-development application review

MAY 2022: Incorporate feedback and submit a development application to City of Newcastle. Note: The DA will be determined by the Hunter Joint Regional Planning Panel.

JUNE 2023: Current lease expires for Cambridge Hotel tenant

JULY 2023: Construction starts (subject to DA approval)

DECEMBER 2024: Construction complete

JANUARY 2025: Students move in ready for semester one

LAST DRINKS: Cambridge Hotel to make way for student accommodation

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