Interserve Plc, the international support and construction group, in partnership with DTZ Investment Management (DTZIM), are to bring the former Co-operative department store in Newcastle city centre back to life to create a mixed-use scheme, incorporating leisure facilities, hotel accommodation and retail units.
The former department store, which has been sold by the Co-operative Group to DTZIM, will be fully refurbished by Interserve to provide retail and leisure units on the ground and basement floors.
Among other occupiers, Premier Inn will operate a 184 bed hotel at the site, with the refurbishment of the building expected to be complete by December 2015. Interserve is to manage delivery of the project on behalf of DTZIM.
The Grade II listed art deco building extends to nearly 170,000 sq ft over six floors and has been a feature of the city’s skyline since it opened in the 1930’s. The sale also includes the adjoining car park and Chinese restaurant.
“The collaborative approach between Interserve, Premier Inn and DTZIM has ensured that this complex scheme is now viable and can be progressed,” said Dougie Sutherland, the Managing Director of Interserve Developments.
“We have worked closely with the local authority over a number of months and we are now in a position to progress construction works on this major city centre project. This project further demonstrates our ability to deliver innovative solutions in property development and we are progressing a number of further schemes.”
With its twin towers, sweeping curves and huge windows, the city-centre building was once Newcastle’s most elegant shopping outlet.
“We look forward to working with Interserve and the future occupiers of the property to deliver a first class leisure development worthy of the iconic nature of this Newcastle landmark building,” said David Hyland, Senior Director at DTZ Investment Management.
Construction work on the project will be led from Interserve’s Newcastle office and is expected to start in a matter of weeks. Interserve will work closely with local supply chain partners on the development, which will provide significant local employment opportunities.
“We are delighted to be a part of this innovative and interesting project with our development partner Interserve and DTZIM,” said Kevin Murray, Senior Acquisitions Manager for Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants.
“We hope the new Premier Inn will be a positive and valued addition to the local area. We look forward to working with Interserve and opening our doors to our customers as soon as possible. We will shortly commence working with Newcastle City Council and other local employment agencies to create over 50 jobs for the local area.
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