The new owner of one of Newcastle’s oldest leisure venues has been revealed, a week after the building’s closure was announced.
The Michaelides family has owned The Assembly Rooms in Newcastle since the 1970s and the plush venue has welcomed in thousands of weddings, conferences, proms and parties ever since.
Last week, however, manager Antony Michaelides announced that economic pressures and the ill health of his father Homer, who originally saved the building back in 1974, had led the family to sell the building.
The grand listed building was sold off a £4.2m guide price, but it was not sold as a going concern, meaning around 30 jobs will be lost when it closes in mid-December.
A question mark still hangs over how the building will be used in the future – but we can now reveal that it has been snapped up by Union Property Services, the Cobalt Business Park company which has led a string of major developments across the region over the last few years.
The family-owned firm is one of the largest, privately owned property investment and development operations in the area, with assets in excess of £400m.
As well as owning property around the UK it is the firm behind the regeneration of the former BT Offices site on Newcastle Quayside, currently being transformed with the creation of two hotels, the new Travelodge and the four-star Innside by Melia.
Construction company Robertson are building the Innside hotel for Spanish hotel operator Meliá Hotels International, which will also have a bar and restaurant that non-residents will be able to visit.
Union also owns Exchange Buildings on Newcastle Quayside, home to a Premier Inn hotel and Slug & Lettuce bar restaurant, Primark in Northumberland Street and the former HMRC offices Eagle Star House in Gosforth, Newcastle, which is being transformed into new appartments.
Last year the business worked with leisure firm Arc Inspirations on plans to open a New York style party bar called Manahatta at another one of its Newcastle city centre buildings in Collingwood Street. That plan fell through, however, when Arc withdrew its licence application and instead pursued plans at the old Jamie’s Italian restaurant, which it then transformed into bustling bar and restaurant Banyan.
Earlier last month, directors at Union Property Services registered a new company at Companies House, called Union Property Development (Assembly Rooms) Ltd.
Source: Chronicle Live