Character of culturally crucial building to boost future business

June 2019

The charm of one of the most important historical buildings on Wearside is to inspire future business over generations following a deal secured by a local commercial property specialist.

The Grade II listed River Wear Commissioners Building in Sunderland is set to become an iconic workspace after Naylors struck a deal with its new owner, the region’s fastest growing provider of prestige working environments.

Adavo Workspace, which previously developed Wallsend Town Hall on North Tyneside and The Clervaux Exchange at Jarrow, specialises in using listed buildings to provide inspirational and flexible serviced environments in which to do business, and is investing £3m in the property, to create more than 200 workstations across varied industries.

The prominent and centrally-located property, which was built in 1907, features oak panelling, ornate wood carvings, and the extensive use of granite, marble and sandstone. Once work is complete to bring it into modern usage, it will house 50 serviced office suites ranging from £125 per desk. There will also be a co-working coffee house on site, as well as conferencing and event spaces.

The building, which was erected on the site of Sunderland’s old post office on the corner of John Street and St Thomas Street, has three storeys plus a basement and is just five minutes on foot from both The Bridges Shopping Centre and Sunderland train station.

Mark Black, Chief Executive at Adavo Workspace said: “Our sensitive restoration plan for this grand old listed building will modernise it into a state-of-the-art workspace, perfect for a range of small businesses in fields as broad as finance, marketing and IT.

“The Commissioners Chamber in particular is stunning and will be a real asset to local businesses pitching for investment or seeking growth capital.”

James Fletcher, commercial agency surveyor at Naylors added: “This building is both striking and culturally important, so it’s a great addition to Adavo’s expanding portfolio. Its previous projects of a similar scale have created thriving regional workspaces in stunning landmark buildings that are more than 90 per cent let.

“So, we’re excited to have had a hand in helping start a new chapter for a property so significant to the city’s maritime history, that will create jobs and contribute towards Sunderland’s ongoing growth.”

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