Three big new hotels will be opening in central Newcastle. The eight storey Baron House (once the Douglas Hotel) is being converted to a 160 bedroom Hampton by Hilton opposite the Central Station. Metnor Construction expects to complete work by May next year.
Behind the station, in the new Stephenson Quarter, the 251 bedroom four star Crowne Plaza hotel continues to go up. And contractor Interserve is starting a £17m transformation of the former Co-operative department store on Newgate Street. The financially troubled Co-operative Group has sold the imposing Grade II listed art deco building to the National Grid UK Pension Scheme for £9m.
Remodelling nearly 170,000sq ft over six floors will give a 184 bed Premier Inn on upper levels, retail and leisure on the ground floor, and a basement gym. The sale includes an adjoining NCP car park and Landmark Chinese restaurant in Stowell St. The building has featured on the city skyline since its opening in the 1930’s.
Total value of the project, its completion due by December 2015, is £30m-plus.
Agents Sanderson Weatherall represented the vendor. Passers-by now wonder whether the building’s giant clocks, which mysteriously disappeared after the building was put on the market, will just as mysteriously reappear.
Almost 800 new hotel rooms are expected in the city by 2016.