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Green light for Newcastle’s Astra Aerolab projects


Newcastle Airport is celebrating another major milestone with the planning approval for development applications of the first two building projects on Astra Aerolab.

Two multi-tenanted buildings, a hybrid office/industrial office and a central hub office, designed to accommodate SMEs, startups and education and training facilities will be constructed with works likely commencing in early 2024.

Zone security is incorporated into base building specification for both projects allowing for zone 4 security if designed by the end users.

The milestone comes just a month after Australian Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, turned the first sod on Newcastle Airport’s A$110 million terminal expansion progamme.

And it is hot on the heels of last week’s commitment by the Federal Government to invest A$100 million in partnership with BAE Systems Australia at Williamtown on Astra Aerolab, showing a firm statement of confidence in the Hunter Region and the Precinct.

Newcastle Airport CEO, Dr Peter Cock, said the vision for Astra Aerolab is to be the world’s most uplifting defence, aerospace and innovation precinct and to cement the region as a leader in the aerospace industry.

“We are creating something here at Williamtown that is totally unique,” he enthused. “Astra Aerolab is a place where world-leading defence, research, aerospace and industry partners will converge to innovate, push boundaries, embrace new technologies and develop the jobs for the future.

“With our International Terminal Expansion now under construction, we are excited to enhance the Hunter Region’s global connectivity by providing opportunities through freight, international connections, creating thousands of jobs and strengthening our existing direct networks.

“That’s why we’ve put so much effort in developing a business park environment that is designed to drive high performance and help the transition of our region. We are leading the way when it comes to diversifying, and we are proud to be part of that.”

The first development consent at Astra Aerolab is for an office industrial facility of 3,200sqm. This building can be adapted to 1,300sqm of office space for a single user, or four suites of circa 250sqm each and two 1000sqm industrial assembly areas.

The facility has storage areas and some car parking on site, with additional tenant and visitor parking provided in the common user car park close by.

The second development consent is for a multi-tenanted 7 level 5,700sqm office building designed for small and medium-sized enterprises, education and training facilities and is ideally suited for startup entrepreneurs.

On offer are five contiguous office floors of approximately 800sqm of space that can be easily subdivided. The bottom two floors will have retail, food and beverage outlets and common facilities for the amenity of all tenants and the Astra community.

Newcastle Airport’s executive general manager for property, Rob Green, says the two DA approvals are a significant milestone for the precinct and a demonstration of Newcastle Airport’s commitment and advancement of the Astra Aerolab.

“We are development ready, with all the statutory approvals in place, the roads and enabling infrastructure already built, and a construction contractor panel in place.

“We are well advanced with several built to order projects for Defence Primes, but we know that for Astra to reach its potential it needs to accommodate a range of industry segments including SMEs.

“That’s why we are progressing these two multi-tenanted buildings, the approved hybrid office/industrial building and the central hub office. With close alignment to Defence, building security to meet the requirements for Defence work is incorporated into the base building specifications and design.

“It is envisaged that construction will commence early next year for completion in 2025.”

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