Ups, Downs but It'slookinggood

Article excerpt

Byline: John Irwin, Commercial Property Spokesman For Royal Institution Of Chartered Surveyors North East And A Director At Chartered Surveyors Storey: Ssp In Teesside.

Tees Valley regeneration is very active.

Chartered surveyors dealing in commercial property know that the vibrancy of the property market is dependent upon the strength of the local, regional and national economy.

In local terms, much has happened in the past three months or so to lift the spirits and then to dampen them again.

A classic case of "rollercoasteritis" started when Sir John Hall announced the development of his Wynyard Business Park, almost at the same time that neighbour Samsung announced its closure and the sale of its buildings to local businessman Chris Musgrave for yet another new business park.

Over the past four years, PD Ports has significantly invested in Teesport and forged good partnerships with local companies. Employing 500 people on the Tees and at Hartlepool, Teesport is the UK's second biggest port, something for us to be proud of.

When parent company Nikko announced it was considering putting PD Teesport up for sale, it was not entirely unexpected although earlier than insiders thought. We'll know better about its future in the summer.

The petrochemical industry continues to find life difficult, with one of Teesside's main players, Huntsman, acknowledging problems and Eastman Chemical Company closing its plant in Hartlepool with the loss of 80 jobs.

The future for Corus on Teesside in also still undecided, although the prospects for Teesside Cast Products looks increasingly hopeful. So it is reassuring that despite this uncertain background, Tees Valley Regeneration continues to provide the focus for mixed-use developments at Victoria Harbour (Hartlepool), North Bank (Stockton), Middlehaven (Middlesbrough), and Haughton Road (Darlington). …