Newcastle QT Hotel Approved as Part of AUD$700m Redevelopment

Main Photo: The proposed development to include 106 room hotel – imagined

Date: April 2020

Location: Newcastle, 160 km north of Sydney, NSW, Australia

Name: QT Hotel Newcastle

No. of Keys: 106

Seller: The site was a former David Jones (famous Aussie department store brand) building on Hunter Street

Buyer: Newcastle is a step closer to welcoming its first premium hotel with the Joint Regional Planning Panel approving the AUD$700 million redevelopment of the David Jones building on Hunter Street.

Part of Iris Capital’s proposed East End precinct, the building will be converted into a new 106-room QT hotel, featuring a boutique rooftop bar, as well as a QT signature dining concept and bar.

QT is a boutique hotel operator that is part of the ASX-listed Event Hospitality and Entertainment company, started in 1913 as a cinema operator and counts Rydges, Atura and Thredbo Alpine Resort amongst it’s brands.

Iris Capital CEO Sam Arnaout told Williams Media that the hotel would be a “beautiful blend of old meets new” with the long history of the Scott’s building and David jones department stores to be maintained in elements of the design.

“This is the first premium hotel for the region and will hit the spot for all Novacastrians and tourist alike,” he said.

“The hotel will offer cool bars and restaurants, including the city’s first rooftop bar with uninterrupted views over the working harbour.

“The design excellence and approval process was extremely rigorous and all stakeholders are excited to see the opening of QT late in 2021.”

The hotel is to be included in the first stage of the 4-city block development, which also features three other separate residential buildings comprising 212 luxury apartments above a Woolworths-anchored retail precinct and forum comprising another 20 specialtiies being delivered by builder Richard Crookes Constructions.

Stage 2 consists of 117 luxury apartments atop the retail precinct, of which construction is already underway. Stage 3 and 4 of the master plan (circa 300 apartment plus retail) is still in planning.

Iris describe themselves as “a fully integrated development and hospitality group, driven by a passion for creating places people love. We integrate the best parts of hospitality and community development into a seamless, profitable, vertical business model.”

Started in 1995, Iris has successfully established a portfolio in the development and hospitality industries including the accumulation of 2,000 luxury apartments, three fully operational vineyards and 25 thriving hotels, mainly in the Sydney area – Manley, Hunter Valley, Homebush, Parramatta and other locations.

THPT Comment: Another Australian project sees the light of day…much optimism coming from down-under in these dark days. Iris have done well with largely non-branded hotels, so interesting to see that have teamed up with QT hotels – 10 under this brand, for this new project.

First Seen: The Hotel Conversation

The Hotel Property Team (THPT) are a small group of highly experienced business professionals. Between us, we provide a range of skills and experience which is directly relevant to those involved in the hotel property market.

For more information – Visit or email