The steel frames of two new buildings are piercing the Sunderland skyline, as work gathers pace on the Legal & General-backed developments.
Maker and Faber, two new offices on Riverside Sunderland, are taking shape, with the outline of both structures now visible.
The buildings, which together will create 150,000 sq ft of office space, are set to become the workplace of thousands of people working for businesses of all sizes and kinds, when they open their doors in 2024. Delivered by development manager Landid, Maker and Faber have been funded as part of Legal & General’s £100m commitment to the Riverside Sunderland site, and a combined £160m that the institutional investor is ploughing into the city over the next few years.
Sir Robert McAlpine has been contracted to build Maker and Faber, with Maker, a six-storey building that will deliver 80,000 sq ft of office space, set to be completed first. The second building, Faber – which will stand five-storeys high, delivering 70,000 sq ft – will follow and will be home to 400 staff from RSA, who announced their plans to move into the city centre earlier this year.
The steel frames – amounting to 1,625 tonnes of metal – stand to the north of the new City Hall and will deliver buildings boasting panoramic views out to sea and across the River Wear.
James Silver, managing director of Landid, said: “It’s incredible to see Maker and Faber begin to take shape and make their mark on what is a fast-changing landscape in the city centre.
“The steel frames start to give a real sense of just how much these buildings will transform the city centre, and – for the development team – it’s a really special moment as our plans start to come to fruition.”
He added: “Riverside Sunderland is a world-class urban quarter, and a place that will have a transformational impact on the wider city centre. We’re enormously proud to be playing a part in this game-changing programme for Sunderland with two buildings that will add to the city’s vibrant office market.”
Riverside Sunderland was recently named Best Future Place at the prestigious Pineapple Awards, part of the Festival of Place – a celebration of ‘placemaking’ and the UK’s built environment held at Wembley’s Box Park. It beat off competition from developments including One Waterloo in Lambeth, London as well as two other London developments and schemes from Cornwall to Jersey.
Maker and Faber are a key part of Riverside Sunderland, which will create a vibrant, mixed-use site, comprising 1,000 new homes for up to 2,500 new residents, as well as a range of new places to enjoy – including parkland both sides of the river, and ‘the UK’s best library’, Culture House – and 1m sq ft of office space. It will boost the number of people living and working in the heart of the city, creating a stronger daytime and evening economy by doubling the resident population of the city centre from 2,500 to 5,000 and increasing employment by 50% to 18,000.
Mike Coplowe, senior development manager at Legal & General, said: “Maker and Faber are hugely significant additions to the North East’s commercial property market and it’s wonderful to watch them take shape. Working with Sir Robert McAlpine will ensure that these buildings deliver a boost to the local economy during construction as well as when they open their doors.”
Mark Gibson, managing director Northern, Sir Robert McAlpine, said: “With steel work underway, these buildings are very quickly beginning to make their mark on the cityscape. We look forward to delivering two stunning new offices that will bring a boost to Sunderland’s city centre.”
Both buildings are being actively marketed by commercial property agents Knight Frank and JLL.
Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “There can be no doubt about the council’s desire to transform the city centre at pace, working with partners who will raise the bar.
“As we start to see these buildings constructed, the level of ambition and determination of all partners involved is clear, and they will make their mark not only visibly, but in terms of the economic value they deliver during construction and when they welcome many hundreds of workers upon completion.”
To stay up to date with Maker and Faber’s development visit www.makerfaber.co.uk or follow @makerandfaber on social media. To enquire about space within the buildings, contact Richard Thorton from JLL at Richard.Thornton@eu.jll.com or on 07966 532 251 or contact Patrick Matheson at Knight Frank at Patrick.firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0191 594 5001.