Chronicle Live – 23rd July 2018
The scheme marks the first phase of a major regeneration project to rejuvenate the East Pilgrim Street area
A landmark office and leisure scheme which would create an impressive gateway into Newcastle city centre – as well as hundreds of new jobs – is being driven forward by two of the most prominent real estate owners in the world. Taras Properties, which is owned by billionaire brothers David and Simon Reuben – currently ranked the 60th wealthiest people in the world in the 2016 Forbes List – is planning to bring forward a scheme to transform the prominent former Bank of England site at the junction of Pilgrim Street and Swan House roundabout. The development would mark the first of a far-reaching three-phase scheme to regenerate the East Pilgrim Street area, eventually creating a raft of retail, leisure and office schemes to completely reconfigure the entrance to the city.
Taras Properties, which owns the entire site, is presenting proposals to Newcastle City Council ’s planning department to construct a landmark 14-storey, 120,000 sqft office building with complimentary ground floor leisure uses. As well as creating hundreds of jobs through the construction phase, the office would have space for more than 1,200 workers, making it one of the largest speculative developments in for the city over the last few years.
The site was home to the Bank of England, which was constructed in the late 1960s but lay empty for several years before being demolished six years ago. Commercial and project management advice on the scheme is being provided by the Newcastle office of property consultancy GVA, with architecture and design services by Newcastle based Ryder Architecture.
Gordon Hewling, regional senior director, GVA said: “This exciting proposal to create a new landmark office building on the Bank of England site is another step towards transforming East Pilgrim Street which will enhance Newcastle city centre’s attractiveness as both a leisure and business destination.” Ryder Architecture added: “This is a key development opportunity for Newcastle and will act as a catalyst for the revival of Pilgrim Street as a vibrant part of the city core with improved access, high quality public realm and civic space befitting a key city centre gateway.”
The scheme will be a catalyst for other mixed use development projects within the East Pilgrim Street regeneration area. The East Pilgrim Street masterplan area also includes Pilgrim’s Quarter, which is currently playing host to the Stack Newcastle shipping container community. Stack is due to remain on site for four years but, longer term, the area is earmarked for 600,000 sqft of mixed use retail and leisure with the potential for a residential development and around 600 car parking spaces.
The Reuben Brothers’ Motcomb Estates firm is also searching for a leisure partner to develop the old fire station block. The company plans to invest in stripping back the Grade II listed buildings to create a shell with 100,000sqft of space which could include a 60-70 bed boutique hotel, plus 25,000 sq ft of space for “food and beverage” – around three or four restaurants. A rooftop bar and restaurant could also be developed.