Those of us who love the West End know it is one of the city’s best kept secrets; the arty eccentricity which lies at its heart and the creative folk who make it home belie its sometimes shabby streetscapes. It can take a while for the West End to work its magic on you, but its time is coming, its fans are growing and it seems that many more are realising that this intriguing part of the city hasn’t come close yet to fulfilling its potential.
I’ve long thought the West End is the natural gateway into and out of Newcastle and should be treated as such and one of those entrance points is the corner of Stewart Avenue and Hunter Street. Once you’ve bumped over the Wickham rail line crossing, you are officially in the city.
Located at this gateway point is Dotcom Property Sales, whose founder Steve Norris agrees that the whole precinct is on the cusp of revitalisation. He predicts that the West End will be transformed in the next 10 years’ and sees its huge potential driven by the influx of out-of-towners who have come to Newcastle with a different vision of the city. Even formerly cynical locals are getting swept up in the urban renewal buzz, seeing their city anew as an extraordinary place.
Steve’s company opened in Newcastle West at the end of 2010 and is taking on real estate with a new approach. “I started Dotcom Property Sales as an alternative to the traditional real estate office model with photos of properties in the window. There are no ‘houses for sale’ or ‘rental lists’ in our office because our aim is to utilize technology to free up our licensed real estate agents. This way they can give their clients the best possible service and make buying and selling property easy.”
Dotcom Property Sales have a team of real estate agents working independently, while all coming under the company’s trading name. Steve provides administrative and other support services allowing agents to run their own business without the hassle of maintaining an office. It’s a property sales model for the 21st century.
Dotcom champions a strong community ethicbecause Steve believes we should all be contributing. Their recent involvement in the World’s Greatest Shave raised funds for leukemia research and he and his staff of one, Alyssa, take time off every month to volunteer for Meals on Wheels at Charlestown. It is part of Dotcom’s commitment to valuing a work/life balance and Steve says that they are always looking for more opportunities to become involved in community activities.
The business is located diagonally opposite the old S & W Miller site, one of the West End’s most inglorious spots. The derelict Miller building was finally demolished last year, decades after it had been abandoned and today the large dilapidated block is waiting to be reborn.
Maybe Dotcom can wave a magic property wand over the site, transforming it into a funky mixed-use development, one which fits in with the city’s rebirth. Or maybe a stylish building (or two) which could become a symbolic gateway into Newcastle? Steve sees the West End as poised for transformation, possibly into a business hub for the city, depending he says “on what they do with the train and the light rail.” Ah…yes indeed.
1/826 Hunter Street, Newcastle West. Phone: 4969 2001 Fax: 4927 6193 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.dotcompropertysales.com. If you are a licensed real estate agent, or would like to become one, and you are interested in our system contact Steve for a confidential chat. Steve Norris 0408 636 032 email@example.com.
Have you chosen the West End as your home or as the perfect place to run your business? Do you have a West End tale which deserves a wider audience? What inspires and infuriates you about the West End? If you have a story to tell I would love to talk to you! Here’s how to find me: firstname.lastname@example.org; 0413 250 155.