The city’s golden triangle
BILLIONAIRE BROTHERS’ PLANS FOR ‘PILGRIM’S QUARTER’
RECLUSIVE billionaire brothers hold the key to the redevelopment of one of the most crucial city centre revamps in the North of England.
The former police station on Newcastle’s Pilgrim Street and Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue, as well as the city’s magistrates’ court, are due for development.
The Grade-II listed plot was sold for around £455,000 to the British Virgin Islands-based arm of Motcomb Estates, owned by the Reuben Brothers, two of the richest men in the world.
Under a shake-up of Newcastle Civic Centre both Newcastle Civil and Family Court will move to the council headquarters with Newcastle Magistrates’ Court moving into the Crown Court on the Quayside – freeing up the Pilgrim Street site for unimpeded development.
Commercial property agent GVA has started to market the site and hopes to attract a hotel chain, shops and restaurants to change the area into a ‘retail and leisure quarter.’
The billionaire brothers’ firm also owns Bank House Square, the derelict buildings and land next to the former police station, bringing the total amount of city centre land the pair own to more than 26 acres – on just one street.
Ray Minto, director of land and development at GVA, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for an operator partner to bring forward a high-quality hotel and food and beverage offer which isn’t currently provided within Newcastle’s City Centre leisure offer. The development forms part of a programme of regeneration on Pilgrim Street extending from the Swan House roundabout up to Northumberland Street.”
Newcastle City Council said Pilgrim Street is one of the most strategically important city centre regeneration areas in the north of England, and the authority has prioritised its redevelopment.
The area, which is entirely owned by the Reuben brothers’ companies, is set to be transformed and pedestrianised so it can be turned into ‘Pilgrim’s Quarter.’
However, the brothers, whose deals could see the face of Newcastle city centre completely transformed, remain something of a mystery.
David and Simon Reuben, both in their 70s, were named the richest people in the UK last year by the Sunday Times, and the 60th richest people in the world according to Forbes Magazine.
The brothers shun publicity and Simon, who is three years younger than his brother David, has given only one interview to a British publication in his entire career.
The duo are estimated to have personal wealth of £13 billion and both live in Monaco.
David started off in the scrap metals business, while Simon started out selling carpets, both increasing their wealth during the 1970s and 1980s.
They now own large chunks of real estate around the world including four miles of seafront in Ibiza, the Millbank Tower in London along with large swathes of Mayfair in addition to the Pilgrim Street site.
The old fire station and police station in Newcastle