Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Long Awaited Investment Puts Area in the Spotlight

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Long Awaited Investment Puts Area in the Spotlight

Article excerpt

THE commercial property market remains very challenging indeed, with the credit crunch and subsequent economic recession having had a major and well publicised impact across all sectors.

This being said, there is some transactional activity where parties are prepared to adopt a sensible view on values and/or lease terms.

Within Darlington town centre, the most notable development has been Terrace Hill's proposal to bring forward the 0.75 hectare former bus depot site at Feethams next to the Town Hall.

The proposed PS30m scheme is to include a nine-screen multiplex cinema, an 80-bedroom hotel, and a family pub with associated bars and restaurants, and has the potential to create up to 500 jobs.

Darlington has been crying out for a quality leisure offering for many years now. This scheme should bear testament to the fact that there will be a sufficient catchment on which to draw - south Durham, North Yorkshire and the Dales - in order to compete with Showcase and Cineworld in Stockton and Middlesbrough respectively.

This will also presumably be the death knell for the Oval scheme on the Commercial Street site.

"The town awaits news on the Department of Education''s proposed relocation of 400 staff from their ageing site at Mowden Hall.

Apparently the DOE is expecting to find a new site in either Newcastle or Darlington.

"There are at least two potential buildings in the town, Northgate House and Lingfield Point, and further options elsewhere in the Tees Valley including properties on which Storeys Edward Symmons are instructed.

Taking into account staff issues, most cannot understand why Newcastle is a potential option.

Lingfield Point's continued success saw the town's largest office transaction of 2012, with AMEC acquiring 47,000sq ft of space at Meadow accommodating 500 staff. Attention is now turning to the next phase, Rocket, a 100,000 sq ft single floor building created out of the original wool factory, with a capacity for more than 1,000 people. …

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