Multiplex has taken a giant step towards developing a large shopping centre in Newcastle with the purchase of Commercial Union House on Pilgrim Street

The purchase of the office, announced today, is widely regarded as the last remaining obstacle in the Australian developer’s way before it can develop the shopping centre. It has already bought the other properties on the plot bounded by Pilgrim Street, Market Street, John Dobson Street and New Bridge Street but needed to purchase Commercial Union House from Morley Fund Management.

The news will be welcomed by retailers looking to enter Newcastle, but have been prevented from doing so by a severe lack of retail space.

Multiplex and joint venture partner Aldersgate declined to reveal how much the office cost.

Mark Robinson, project director for the joint venture, said: ‘Multiplex and Aldersgate are fully committed to delivering the redevelopment of the Pilgrim Street site and this significant acquisition is further evidence of that.’

‘We continue to work closely with Newcastle City Council to bring forward a retail-led, mixed-use regeneration in a quarter of the city which has great unrealised potential, and will move Newcastle back up the retail league.

'The new development will provide the people of Newcastle a great city centre to enjoy in the 21st century.’

‘The development will seek to integrate listed buildings with contemporary architecture whilst conforming to the needs and particular requirements of modern occupiers across all sectors, as well as injecting life into the city centre with a range of residential, hotel and office opportunities.’