Chronicle Live – 14th January 2019
Taras Properties, owned by the Reuben Brothers, are driving forward plans for the old Bank of England site
Billionaire brothers behind plans to create an imposing office and leisure scheme on the former Bank of England site have unveiled images of how the landmark scheme would look.
Taras Properties is to bring forward the 14-storey scheme set to be called Bank House at the junction of Pilgrim Street and Swan House roundabout, creating hundreds of new jobs as well as an impressive gateway into Newcastle city centre.
The development company Taras Properties is owned by brothers David and Simon Reuben – ranked the 60th wealthiest people in the world in the 2016 Forbes List – prominent real estate owners who also own huge plots of land and property on Pilgrim Street, which is set for a transformation.
The site was home to the massive Bank of England building, which was constructed in the late 1960s but lay empty for several years before being demolished seven years ago. The creation of Bank House marks the first of 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, which owns the entire site, has worked with Newcastle City Council’s planning department on the proposals for the building, which will be available for the public to see this week. The building will incorporate 10,000sqft floorplates of open plan, column free space, offering unobstructed views across the city, as well as retail space on the ground floor.
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 scheme will also involve public realm areas with planting, new seating areas and realignment of the junction of Pilgrim Street with the 55 Degrees roundabout. A public consultation exhibition for businesses and residents in the surrounding area will be held at Coopers Studios, Westgate Road, Newcastle, on Wednesday January 16 from 1pm to 5pm and Thursday January 17 from 1pm to 7pm.
Commercial and project management advice on the scheme is being provided by GVA with architectural design by Ryder Architecture. Arup is providing engineering input.
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.”
A spokesman for Ryder Architecture said: “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.