Newcastle icon The Camo may rock again, as the developers pull out of plans for a student tower and the historic hotel returns to the market.

The pub was a virtual rite of passage for local and even international bands for more than five decades, hosting the likes of Tame Impala, The Black Keys, Silverchair and Beastie Boys.

In June 2023 it closed its doors, seemingly for good, raging a final hurrah three-day sticky carpet live music festival to mark the conclusion of its tenure. Its former operators even moved on, to reposition the King Street Hotel to service the live music market.

In July the new owner, French developer Linkcity, lodged its plans for a 19-storey student accommodation tower for up to 560 people, slated to cost $110 million, with studios, twins and four-bedroom apartments.

Located opposite the new Newcastle Interchange heavy rail terminus and Light Rail Network link, servicing industry in the area, the site has a 60-metre height limit and nearly 12k sqm of potential floor space.

In August the University of Newcastle lodged its own development application, for an accommodation building at Honeysuckle, less than a kilometre away, for up to 480 students.

By October doubts had emerged as to whether or not Linkcity would proceed. The contract allowed a window for the company to not go ahead with the development, with the call option to expire in November.

A decision was made to not proceed, said to be prompted by timing and the vestiges of COVID, and the property is now up for sale again.

The existing building comprises a ground floor public bar, and on the upper level 16 rooms with common areas and amenities, configured for student accommodation. The title retains its licence, and the sale includes EGM entitlements.

Its assets provide opportunity to resurrect the hotel as a live music venue, capitalising on its history, or reposition it for a new demographic.

A sales campaign is being managed by Adam Leacy of Commercial Collective, looking at offers north of $10 million. He anticipates interest from both hotel operators and developers.

“With the introduction of the eight PMEs now included in the sale, we believe the opportunity for a venue operation becomes much more viable,” offers Leacy.  

Sale of The Camo is via Expressions of interest, closing 1 May.

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