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Square One Law advising Robertson North East on Spanish City regeneration

Square One Law has seen an upturn in the volume of commercial property activity in the leisure sector, having advised on an increasing number of transactions over the last year.

Barney Frith, commercial property specialist and head of Square One Law’s property team, said: “Although some analysts predicted a downturn in confidence and demand from investors and occupiers, we are seeing a strong level of confidence with many of our commercial property clients, particularly in the leisure market.

“One of our high-profile leisure projects is advising Robertson North East, the developers of the regeneration of Spanish City in Whitley Bay which will not only see a complete restoration of the magnificent Dome, but also the construction of a 68 bed Premier Inn and a 190-cover restaurant.”

Spanish City has always been an iconic building in Whitley Bay, and the funfair was erected as a smaller version of Blackpool’s Pleasure Beach. It opened in 1910 as a concert hall, restaurant, roof garden and tearoom. The ballroom and funfair were added later. By the late 1990s the building had fallen into disrepair, and in the early 2000s it was closed to the public.”

Will Hean, managing director at Robertson Property, said: “We have been restoring the Spanish City Dome, for North Tyneside Council, which has been procured through Scape Group’s National Major Works Framework. We removed a suspended ceiling that was installed shortly after the dome was built, and carried out a lead paint strip, uncovering the splendid original finish.

“We are carrying out major renovations to bring this historic Whitley Bay landmark back into use. It involves recreating many original features which have previously been lost and adding new modern extensions at either end. We have just returned the rotunda inside the iconic Dome to its former glory – for the first time in over 100 years.

“Once complete, the attraction will operate as a food emporium featuring a champagne and oyster bar, as well as a function and wedding venue.

“The redevelopment of Spanish City has been a long time in the making, and we are grateful for the time and commitment shown by Barney and his team at Square One Law in leading negotiations with North Tyneside Council, and partner organisations, which has been a great asset to the project.”

Barney Frith said: “We’re delighted to be advising Robertson North East. Robertson operates throughout the UK and is one of the largest independently owned construction, infrastructure and support services companies in the UK covering the entire built environment lifecycle.”

Will Hean continued: “The hotel and leisure sector is still a growth area and we are experiencing a higher demand for our services in this sector than in previous years. As such we are looking for similar opportunities and are very keen to support local schemes, such as Spanish City, bringing significant inward investment to the region.”

Barney Frith said: “Many of our major clients are seeing this as an opportune time in which to strategically expand their portfolios. Not only are we involved in the development of a 68 bed Premier Inn at Spanish City, but we have also recently advised on a 131 bed Premier Inn in Slough City Centre for London based developer client Landid, and acted on behalf of an investor on the acquisition of a 40 bed Travelodge in Bedford.”

Elsewhere, Square One Law has acted on behalf of a developer/investor, negotiating the acquisition of Durham City’s Three Tuns Hotel, in New Elvet, from its former owner, Durham University. The deal will enable the new owner to transform the site into a mixed-used development that will feature some student accommodation in an area where available land is at a premium.

Square One Law is also currently acting for developer clients on a flagship building to bring a major boutique hotel operator to Newcastle City Centre, on the development of a new bar, also in central Newcastle, which is due to open in the next few months, as well as acting for a client on the conversion of a redundant office building in York into a 124 bed 4-star hotel, and 36 apartments, for an international hotel chain.

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