1 April 2011 – Property Week
The Reuben brothers’ purchase of the 42 acre East Pilgrim Street site in Newcastle in February has placed it in single ownership for the first time in more than a decade
The Reubens’ Aldersgate Investments bought the site back from joint venture partner Brookfield as part of a “buyback”.
Brookfield inherited the site from its takeover Multiplex in 2007, and Aldersgate was already on board as a joint venture partner.
The scheme has been disarray for several years. The last masterplan, published by Brookfield in 2007, featured 550,000 sq ft of shops, two hotels, flats and a new bus interchange.
Aldersgate is carrying out a full review of the site. “The new arrangement means Aldersgate can consider fresh and exciting ideas, as well as developing its own close relationships with Newcastle City Council, working together to agree a vision and strategic plan for the redevelopment of the area,” a spokesman says.
“It is likely that the initial focus for redevelopment of the Pilgrim Street site will centre on the northern block.” The Northern block is the area of the site closest to the city centre and includes the former Bank of England building on Pilgrim Street.
Mark Lloyd, head of strategic property at the council, says this area is likely to focus on retail because of its proximity to the city core.
“We want to build on Newcastle’s retailing success, but we can’t extend Eldon Square or the retail on Northumberland Street, so there is scope to create a retail centre that incorporates Pilgrim Street,” says Lloyd.