WORK has begun on an £8m business village providing 40,000sq ft of new office space in one of the few speculative developments to get off the ground in the region this year.
The Newcastle-based Adderstone Group’s 3 Acre Park development is on the site of the former open-air school at the junction of Durham Road and Joicey Road in Gateshead.
As well as converting the former buildings it will also include a new- build element in the remainder of the grounds with planning consent obtained for 40,000 sq ft of business space.
Adderstone Group bought the site from Gateshead Council for £265,000 earlier this year. Managing director Ian Baggett said: “Although margins are down, development is what we do. On the back of the success of our Quay West business park in Sunderland, we showed no hesitation in taking on this ambitious scheme.”
Adderstone was highly commended earlier this year in the RICS Rennaisance Awards for its Quay West development project in Sunderland. In the 12 months since the completion of Phase 1 it has achieved full occupancy with some 32 separate business tenants in approximately 60,000 sq ft of offices.
Mr Baggett added: “Despite the recession, neither of these schemes have needed any grant funding. We are proving that well-designed, speculative development remains viable in the North East.
“My team and I are particularly proud to be keeping hundreds of people in employment and creating long-term, quality workspace for many hundreds more.”
Main contractor Brims Construction has started on Phase 1 of the 3 Acre Park which will see the demolition of the more modern extensions, and a strip-out and asbestos removal from the existing Grade II-listed buildings, which will be retained and sympathetically converted. Enabling work carried out in previous weeks had involved the removal of almost 100 mature trees from what had become an overgrown and derelict site.
Julie Booth from creative communications agency Drummond Central, who introduced the site to Adderstone Group, said: “I knew this site was a hidden gem, sandwiched between the High Street and Saltwell Park. The development is designed to cater for the needs of creative businesses but with childcare facilities, a shop and a deli, I know there will be all kinds of occupiers interested in locating on a quality park in between the Team Valley and the city centre”.
Adderstone is quoting rents of £14 per sq ft and offering units for sale off-plan or by way of a lease and a longer term option to buy.