Donald Street carpark in Nelson Bay CBD to be demolished late October

Close to five years after the top two tiers of the Donald Street carpark in the heart of Nelson Bay was closed due to structural damage Port Stephens Council has declared that the structure will be torn down.

Demolition of the carpark will be fully funded through the council's Port Stephens 2020 works program and is scheduled for "late October".

It is the third major project being complete as part of Nelson Bay Next. Once demolished, the space will be turned into level parking.

"Port Stephens Council has been driving progress in Nelson Bay through our brand Nelson Bay Next. We've completed the Yacaaba Street extension, we're revitalising Apex Park and now we're getting rid of an eyesore which is detracting from the visual appeal of Nelson Bay," Port Stephens Mayor Ryan Palmer said of the project.

"After years of inaction in the town centre, it's fantastic to see progress on three key actions from the Nelson Bay Town Centre and Foreshore Strategy."

The carpark, which was built in 1991, was closed by the council in November 2014 after independent assessment found structural damage to be present.

Levels one and two of the carpark, totalling 114 spaces, were closed but the ground level and land immediately next to the structure were kept open for parking.

To alleviate parking pressure in the Nelson Bay CBD after the closure, the council opened two new car lots, providing 125 parking spaces, in Yacaaba Street and Government Road.

In the past five years there has been calls from organisations, businesses and councillors to repurpose the carpark or tear it down.

East ward councillor John Nell in front of the carpark in Donald Street, Nelson Bay.

East ward councillor John Nell in front of the carpark in Donald Street, Nelson Bay.

Most recently, in March, East Ward councillor John Nell lodge a notice of motion to call on the council to "cough up some of its own money" to tear the "terrible eyesore" down and replace it with seal car parking.

The demolition project was added to the Port Stephens 2020 program, which features $15.9m worth of projects set to be fast-tracked in the next 12 months.

On Wednesday, October 16, the council announced it would be fully funding the demolition of the structure and replacing it with level parking, which would add 30 new parking spaces in the Bay CBD.

"This is one of the first Port Stephens 2020 projects to get underway, so it's very exciting," Cr Palmer said.

"Our East Ward residents told us this was one of their main priorities during consultation in July and I'm proud that Council has been able to make it happen."

Phil Miles, the council's capital works section manager, said the demolition works will be completed before Christmas.

"We know Nelson Bay is busy during the holiday period, so works will take a break over Christmas and construction of the new carpark will begin in February 2020," he said.

"Unmarked parking will be available during that period."

Mr Miles said Council has worked to ensure disruption from the demolition is minimised.

"There will be noise and some dust as part of the demolition works and traffic controls will be in place to manage the trucks transporting materials offsite. We've been working closely with building owners around the site who are likely to be affected," he said.

The council is offering free parking at other sites during the demolition period. Time restrictions will apply.

On street parking:

  • Nelson Bay CBD
  • Victoria Parade
  • Teramby Road

Off street parking:

  • Corner Yacaaba Street and Donald Street
  • d'Albora Marina
  • Government Road (next to the Nelson Resort)
  • Donald Street (opposite Woolworths)
  • Woolworths underground parking