Gateshead Council has completed on a landmark new 50,000 sq ft Grade-A office development, which is already 100% let.
Riga, a £13m workspace designed by Ryder Architecture and constructed by Willmott Dixon, 3E engineering and Desco, is part of the Baltic Quarter site located next to the iconic Gateshead Quays. It will be the first Grade-A office building delivered to the area for around 10 years bringing with it 600 jobs.
Conceived in response to demand for more high-quality workspace in Gateshead, and fully funded by Gateshead Council, Riga was designed to support the growth of companies in the region.
Speaking about the completion, Cllr Martin Gannon, Leader of Gateshead Council said: ““We agreed to build this office block speculatively because we know what a great location this is for growing businesses and it has paid off. The building is another step toward achieving the vision for the broader Gateshead Quays with a vibrant mixed-use community with arts and culture at its heart in a real living, working environment.
“In challenging times, to say that this building is 100% let before the doors have even opened signifies confidence in Gateshead and Riga will play a crucial role in our recovery. It has already created a number of jobs across the whole supply chain, including over 450 construction jobs on site for the last 18 months.
Anthony Dillon, Managing Director for Willmott Dixon in the North, which has its base in Gateshead, said: “We’re very proud to play our part in delivering such as important project, which will support and enable growing businesses to thrive, and create vital employment opportunities, right here in Gateshead.
“This is our 11th project in partnership with Gateshead Council and it has again given us the opportunity to support the local pound; during the building process we invested more than £7.4m with businesses in the area.
“It is thanks to the strength of the relationships and collaboration between our team, the council and all our local design and supply chain partners that we have overcome the unprecedented challenges of the last few months, completed the project, and, most importantly, kept everyone safe on site.”
Sumo Group plc has agreed to lease the top two floors, extending to 16,500 sq ft, to house the local studios of its Sumo Digital and Atomhawk businesses.
Tim Wilson, Managing Director of Atomhawk, says: “Our digital design studio was founded in Gateshead in 2009 and has been synonymous with the success of the Baltic Quarter. The short move to the RIGA building will provide our UK team with a bespoke, cutting edge head office, plus expanded space to grow alongside our sister studio in Vancouver.”
Aidan Baker, Senior Director at BNP Paribas Real Estate, letting agent for the building commented: “Gateshead Council’s decision to deliver office space at a time when the private sector has been unable to progress schemes has proven the pent-up demand that exists for high-quality office space on Gateshead Quays. The location is ideal for enterprising businesses looking to be at the heart of what is expected to be the new ‘innovation district’ and to pre-let the whole building prior to practical completion proves the demand for high quality accommodation within this excellent business location.”
Another major North East employer has taken the remaining four floors and an announcement is due soon.