Plans have been lodged with Port Stephens Council to develop the corner of Yacaaba and Donald streets Nelson Bay.
Valued at $18 million the 60 units will test Port Stephens Council’s appetite for urban renewal as it pushes nearer to the proposed development ceiling.
At 10 stories high it provides for nine floors of residential accommodation above ground-floor retail and three levels of basement car parking.
Offering views of the waterfront and being and within walking distance of the marina the proposal has taken on a decidedly marine appearance.
A spokesman for the developer said it had been designed in such a way to “give each unit a unique vantage point with [unsurpassed] water views”, like a manta ray.
The plans as listed with council have a height of 33.2 metres. This is above the 22m allowed for under the 2012 Nelson Bay and Foreshore Strategy, even allowing for the developer to display design excellence.
That strategy is under review and its draft replacement recommends a new cap at 35m.
“We are just following the recommendation of the new draft strategy document by following [council] guidelines,” the spokesman said.
“Nelson Bay has so much going for it and it is not being utilised.”
The application follows the council’s approval of the eight-storey Ascent apartments on Church Street in May 2017.
The spokesman said Manta Ray was in keeping with the spirit of that decision.
“There has been a precedence set with the Church Street development where that project exceeds 32m and is located at a higher position,” he said.
“We all know that the area has stagnated and there has not been any development for the past 10 years.
“This site is iconic being situated near the marina yet it is still set back from the foreshore, protecting view corridors, yet connecting it to the civic heart of town.”
Tomaree Ratepayers and Residents Association vice president John James wished to see council defer the application until the draft strategy review was complete.
“This proposal well and truly exceeds the current provisions,” he said. “They’re relying heavily on the draft changes that haven’t even come into effect yet.”
Manta Ray applicant, Anchor Property Group, has been in discussion with the council since plans were lodged for 1 Yacaaba Street on June 13.
The land was purchased in September 2017 for $1.75 million as a deceased estate.
It has served as a council car park since 2014 but will be demolished under the application.