MORE details of the first building on Sunderland’s Vaux brewery site have emerged.
John Seager, chief executive of new joint venture company Siglion, was speaking after the firm’s launch at the National Glass Centre yesterday.
The firm will be responsible for the regeneration of sites across the city, including Seaburn seafront, Chapel Garth near Doxford Park, Numbers Garth in the East End and Farringdon Row.
But John is aware that the Vaux site is the main focus of interest across the city. Getting Vaux right was critical for the future of the city centre, he said.
“It has to be right for Sunderland,” he said. “It has to be long-term, it has to be something that creates a city that people use.
“We are working on the plans for the first building. We know the location of it and we are working on a number of really exciting options in terms of the design and what the building offers.
“It will be an office building, with an opportunity on the ground floor for public space – it could be a shop, it could be a restaurant, it could be a coffee shop – but a building that is used by people.
“That site has so much potential.”
The city council would take a lease on the first building, which would then be sublet. Having a tenant in place meant the company could start marketing the building for sale immediately and the sale would help to finance the rest of the development.
John was confident there would be no problem attracting investors: “The market is ripe for this kind of opportunity,” he said.
“It is important people realise it is private sector money that is being put into this,” said John. “There is not a big pot of public money that we are using. This is private sector money that is meant for economic development.”
It was impossible to put a total development cost on the site until more details of the final development were available: “We are using the figure of a £100million total investment, but that is very much a ballpark figure,” said John.