Helping Silverlink in the £200m Stephenson Quarter Redevelopment

Stephenson Quarter
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We are pleased to announce we are acting on behalf of the company leading the development of one of the most significant regeneration schemes in the North East’s history.

We are providing legal advice to North East developer, Silverlink , on the redevelopment of the Stephenson Quarter in the heart of Newcastle city centre. The scheme represents investment in the region of £200m, and phase one is now underway.

Phase one

The construction of phase one involving a 251-bed, four-star Intercontinental Hotels Group, Crown Plaza Hotel worth £55m on the site next to Newcastle’s Central Station has already commenced.  Miller Construction is the contractor and senior funding is being provided by RBS. The hotel is scheduled to open in July 2015.

Phase one of the ten-acre redevelopment also includes a 357-space multi-storey car park with 35,000 sq ft of offices above which has been forward funded by AVIVA and the contractor again is Miller Construction. Completion of the construction work is also anticipated to take place in July 2015. Newcastle City Council has taken a non-occupational lease of the offices and car park.

Highly complex transaction

The transaction and the issues involved were highly complex and a multitude of parties were, and continue to be, involved with phase one.  We have been able to draw upon expertise from across the firm to achieve the objectives set by Silverlink whilst balancing the needs of the various funders and other stakeholders in ensuring that the transaction completed.  The legal work was led by Jonathan Combe, head of the Real Estate Group, who was closely assisted by James Armstrong, on real estate matters and by Andrea Gardner and Alan Ross on the construction aspects.

Jonathan said: “In terms of legal complexities, throughout the transaction we needed to balance the understandable requirements of the various funders for the two elements of the scheme and those of the other stakeholders.

“All of the parties involved had a common goal which was to achieve the successful regeneration of the site, but they also had their own particular interests to protect. Fortunately the goodwill generated on all sides meant that the correct balance was found and it was a genuine team effort in getting the transaction over the line.”

He added: “At Muckle LLP we appreciate the strategic importance and significance of this development, not just for Silverlink, but for Newcastle and the wider region. The Stephenson Quarter is a sign of great confidence in the region. It will create more than 2,000 jobs and will also be the catalyst for further development in the city centre and the future phases at the Stephenson Quarter.”

Jonathan explained: “This development is the first of its kind to be done by Newcastle City Council.  It would have been a difficult transaction to pull together at the height of the property market but it’s particularly pleasing and rewarding that it’s been done in a difficult market. The team at Silverlink, ably assisted by Newcastle City Council and other stakeholders, rightly deserve enormous credit for sticking with this and making it happen.

“Thanks to the leadership of Silverlink and determination from all the parties involved, this huge regeneration scheme is now underway. It’s absolutely fantastic news for the region’s economy and our local property market.”

Historic moment for Newcastle

Alan Schofield, Finance Director of Silverlink, said: “The commencement of this scheme really is a historic moment for Newcastle and the North East. We have been working on this for ten years and are committed to delivering a new district in the city centre which will stand alongside any major European city.

“Delivering this scheme, will bring back to life an under-used part of the city centre, generating jobs and further development. It is testimony to the confidence in Newcastle and the North East, as well as the determination and skill of everyone involved.

“We’re very grateful to Jonathan and the team at Muckle LLP for their skills and expertise.  As a result they were able to represent our interests, whilst working with the other parties involved to ensure the work could get underway. We look forward to working with them on the future phases.”

For more information, help or advice on this and/or other Real Estate transactions please contact Jonathan Combe on 0191 211 7925.