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Business & Economy

Search underway for developer to deliver final phases of prime £200m Newcastle site

Newcastle City Council has appointed property experts Knight Frank to assist them in procuring a joint venture (JV) partner to help shape and develop the final phases of, arguably, the city’s most prime development site – the Stephenson Quarter.

The £200m, six-acre, mixed-use development opportunity, next to Central Station, will be officially launched to the market today (12 March) at European property festival, MIPIM, in Cannes, France.

A new, flexible masterplan for the site has been drawn-up and will be unveiled at the launch event, hosted at the Invest Newcastle stand. It details the scope to develop Grade A new-build offices, refurbished creative workspace, residential buildings and a small amount of retail and leisure space – across nine different plots.

Developers will be able to suggest changes to the masterplan and bring their own ideas of how to maximise the site. A JV partner will be appointed following a competitive tender process, steered by Knight Frank.

The development is expected to create around 2,000 jobs and contribute around £100m a year to the regional economy.

The first phase of the project has brought the Rocket office building, a Crowne Plaza hotel, a multi-storey carpark and the Boiler Shop events space.The second phase successfully delivered the North East Futures University Technical College.

Chief executive of Newcastle City Council, Pat Ritchie, said: “The Stephenson Quarter has created over 1,000 jobs and is one of the city’s most important development sites so close to the region’s gateway, the Central Station.

“The first two phases of development have seen it grow with grade A offices, a University Technical College, events space and a conference hotel – but the site has much more to offer.

“We are now at a critical new stage – looking for a developer to match our big ambitions in a £200m development that will see new homes, offices and leisure space, providing an economic boost to the city.

“As one of our Accelerated Development Zones, the Stephenson Quarter is an extremely attractive opportunity for the right developer.”

The site is one of NewcastleGateshead’s Accelerated Development Zones (ADZ) which are designed to unlock city centre growth.

Patrick Matheson, partner at Knight Frank Newcastle, said: “We are incredibly pleased to be appointed to help the Council find the right developer to take this site to the next level.

“The potential here is huge and we will be looking for a developer with solid credentials and a strong vision. The site’s location will be a big draw for potential office occupiers, given its close proximity to Central Station.

“There will no doubt be keen interest from investors looking to capitalise on rental growth in the city and the site will ensure the important Grade A offices pipeline is boosted. It’s very exciting indeed – watch this space.”