A STOCKTON developer’s £300m riverside business park is taking shape, after the Open University agreed to buy new premises on the site.
Commercial property specialists Terrace Hill will complete the 19,500sq ft Chalk Hill Place construction at its Baltic Business Quarter on the banks of the Tyne in Gateshead.
The offices are expected to be ready in July 2008, when 65 staff from the distance learning institute’s Gosforth base will transfer to the new building.
Martin Vickerman, director of Terrace Hill in the North-east, said: “We are delighted to welcome the Open University to Gateshead.
“This is fantastic news for the Baltic Business Quarter and for Gateshead itself, underlining the fact that this development has the capacity to attract quality occupiers from across the country.”
Terrace Hill estimates the Baltic Business Quarter will create up to 7,000 jobs.
The company is also building a speculative 24,000sq ft office scheme called Baltimore House, as part of the £300m project.
Terrace Hill, which is working with Gateshead Council, believes Baltimore House will attract a great deal of interest, satisfying a demand for high quality office space in the area.
Mr Vickerman said: “This development is of national significance. It is a new urban office quarter for the Gateshead and Newcastle conurbation, with all the space and benefits of an out-of-town business park”.
“The sheer scale of the development means that it will provide a huge boost to the region’s economy, as well as delivering one of the major parts of Gateshead’s regeneration.”
The Baltic Business Quarter is expected to transform 50 acres of derelict land into a thriving commercial community.
Agents for the development include the Newcastle office of Sanderson Weatherall and DTZ.
The leader of Gateshead Council, Mick Henry said: “We are delighted that the Open University has chosen Gateshead as its new location.
“Taking its place alongside the spectacular architecture of Gateshead Quays, Baltic Business Quarter is on track to be one of the region’s most popular business locations.
“We welcome the Open University as the beginning of another success story for Gateshead.”
David Knight, the regional director of the Open University in the North-east, said: “This is a very exciting move for us.
“One huge bonus will be the presence of the new Gateshead College next door and the synergy between us should be immensely beneficial.”