Tuesday, May 6, 2008

"Wrong sort of offices"


By Central Station

Brand new and as yet no takers.

Plenty of space ... 

... old space...

... chic space with more to come.

In a telephone conversation with me in 2002 a Newcastle City Council official discussed the 'need' for office space in the city. As posts below set out, the plan for Battlefield involved a 'business park' on the site of the former Berger paint factory and, in order to maximise the developer's gain, extensive car parking over the Battlefield/City Stadium site. One plan – there were three 'alternatives' – spoke of thirteen hundred spaces.

When I pointed out that there were, even then, empty office blocks all over the city he replied "They are the wrong sort of offices".

The situation has not changed much as these photographs demonstrate. All were taken on 5th May 2008. For the good of the city and employment prospects generally I sincerely hope all these premises attract tenants soon. Yet, I am wondering "Who benefits?" My feeling is that it is the building itself, often financed by 'off shore' investors seeking to create an asset irrespective of need, that is the point.

Coming soon: Ouseburn the alternative strategy!

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