Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Degree of Progress at Prime City Centre Site

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Degree of Progress at Prime City Centre Site

Article excerpt

Byline: By Julie Booth

It's been just over a year since Shepherd Construction was awarded the pounds 13m design and build contract at the former Swan House office complex by developers Crown Dilmun.

The contract involves the partial demolition and complete refurbishment of the Newcastle city centre site, which is located directly north of the Tyne Bridge on a busy roundabout, to turn it into the illustrious 55 Degrees North.

The 1960s complex had been left unoccupied, and Shepherd is employed to convert the offices on levels four to 10 into 165 city centre apartments, including 19 split-level penthouses on a new glazed 11th level.

Residents of the new one, two and three bedroom apartments will have the benefit of spectacular views over Newcastle city centre. Car parking is located in the basement.

Residents will be able to enter the basement car lift, which was a feature in the original building and has now been refurbished, and transported to an additional three parking levels.

Work started on site in March 2002, with the project having witnessed many changes in the last year.

In April 2002, a 250-tonne tower crane arrived at the project in the early hours of a Monday morning. The early hour was chosen to prevent disruption to Newcastle's road users - a major factor when working on a city centre roundabout.

The tower crane was then used to lift 1.5 tonne beams onto the roof of the development in preparation for erecting the steel framework of the penthouse suites.

Other major deliveries throughout the duration of the contract have been scheduled before 6.30am to avoid disruption to rush-hour traffic.

June 2002 saw the original "Swan House" logo removed from the central Royal Arcade link, in preparation for the development's rebranding in 2003 as 55 Degrees North, a name chosen due to the site's latitude. …

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