Building work starts on 265 new homes at former Sunderland Civic Centre site in major step forward for city centre
Building has begun on the first homes on the site of the former Sunderland Civic Centre and a land deal has been struck.
Demolition of the 1970 building began in October 2022. The final piece of the site has now been bought by regeneration specialist Countryside Partnerships North East. Building of the first 69 properties on what was previously the surface level car park is underway.
An agreement has also been reached with Sigma Capital. The build-to-rent specialist will acquire 138 properties there, including these first 69.
All will be made available for private rent under Sigma’s private rental brand, Simple Life Homes.
Demolition of the civic centre continues, the first stage of “an ambitious project to transform the site into a vibrant city centre community of 265 homes”.
The first properties are expected to be completed and ready to live in by autumn 2024.
The new development will also have homes for sale through Countryside’s house building arm, Linden Homes. A range of properties will be on offer.
Developers say Saint George’s Square, at the south end of the site and bombed during World War II, will be recreated “with the Grade II listed Saint George’s House as the focal point”.
Among the aims of the development is boosting city centre trade. The council says it plans to build more than 7,000 new homes within the next 10 years.
Andrew Rennie, development director with Countryside Partnerships North East, said: “We are delighted to have unlocked this complex regeneration project which will be a flagship for us on both a local and national level.
“It is fantastic to have completed another deal with Sunderland City Council, this one requiring very close partnership working, assisting the council’s move to the new City Hall.”
Leader of Sunderland City Council, Cllr Graeme Miller, said: “It’s fantastic to see work commence so quickly on a new housing development that will bring more people right into the heart of Sunderland.
“We know that high quality housing in the heart of the city centre will not only create an attractive new community, it will also provide a boost for our businesses by day and night; so we’re really pleased to see work getting underway on this scheme.”