NEWCASTLE Now says it is on track to turn Nobbys headland into "Newcastle's Opera House".
The business group has plans to turn the historic site into a vibrant hub of activity that will include a function centre, short-term accommodation, a cafe, playground and an open-air gym.
Architect Jon Webber said each quadrant could be opened up or petitioned off depending on scheduled activities, such as a wedding or a concert.
Mr Webber, along with Newcastle Now board member Kris Leck and executive manager Michael Neilson, gave Newcastle City councillors a rundown of its restoration project at last week's council meeting, with stage one now complete.
With the help of Jobfind and Corrective Services NSW, cottages one and two have been cleaned up and restored.
The sewer system has been repaired and wi-fi installed across the site.
Newcastle Now has calculated that pro-bono contributions to the job have exceeded $300,000, while they have spent another $180,000.
At the meeting, Newcastle Now revealed that the headland was removed from the $1.75 billion long-term lease of Newcastle Port.
It had a complicated journey ahead if it wanted plans to come to fruition, with both state and federal governments having ownership of the land.
Newcastle Now has a five-year lease with an option to extend for another five years.
Any changes they make will need to go through the council's development application process.
Cr Nuatali Nelmes commended the plans as they were "exactly what the community asked for".
She said other plans previously pitched for the site were criticised as too commercial.
Cr Therese Doyle raised questions over disability access and parking for the accommodation services.
Newcastle Now said it was still investigating those aspects and would seek state and federal grants to finish the project.
It also intends to also look at crowd funding.