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Capitalising on market trends to revitalise a vacant office building


We had been marketing the lease of St James House, a 33,396 sq ft 1980’s office block in Newcastle city centre, on behalf of Telereal Trillium since 2010.

However, the lease was coming up for expiry and, with the growth of the student housing market in Newcastle, and St James House being within a short distance of Newcastle University and in a location popular with students, the building was crying out for conversion to student residential accommodation.

Having worked with Crosslane Student Developments on several schemes in Newcastle before – both in respect of sales and acquisitions and having also obtained consent for the development of a further 20 studios – the team was aware of our track record in this field, and was quick to appoint us as their property advisers.

Following detailed negotiations, we successfully agreed the surrender of the lease and subsequent acquisition of the building, which was on the market for offers in excess of £5.25m. As a result, it will now be converted into a £15.5m 140‑bed studio scheme under permitted development rights, which allow the change of use from office space to residential without the need for planning permission. 

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