Newcastle's Chinatown to transform disused £40m skyscraper into apartments
Newcastle’s Chinatown is to receive a second landmark through the selling of one of the city’s skyscrapers to a developer.
Peter Cheng, the man credited as being the founder of Newcastle’s Chinatown, opened his first business on Newcastle’s Stowell Street in 1978, selling one of his properties on the city’s Rutherford Street allowing the site to become the city’s tallest building in the form of a 26-floor apartment block.
The £40m skyscraper, Hadrian Tower, has been granted planning permission earlier this month and work has gone underway to bring the 162 apartments to life. Since 1984, Cheng has owned the site and used it as a warehouse for his Wing Hong supermarket.
Cheng said: “When we first bought our Rutherford Street warehouse, the whole of Newcastle was different. That was a main route through the city - St James Boulevard didn’t exist - whereas Stowell Street was the absolute opposite.
“There were no other Chinese businesses when we first opened, there weren’t even streetlights. The whole dynamic of Newcastle has changed so much since then, and through the sale of our warehouse, we are enabling the creation of this new tower.”
The building has not been used since 2002, and the Cheng family have declined various offers previously to sell the property.
The family were represented in the sale by Alan Harkness at Newcastle law firm Sintons, which has been their trusted advisor for over 30 years. Harkness has also acted for the family in the purchase of the Rutherford Street site.
Mr Harkness said: “Peter Cheng had a huge impact on the future of Newcastle through initiating the transformation of Stowell Street into the vibrant community it is today, and it is very fitting that he and his family are now involved in what is set to become the city’s most iconic modern creation.”