The contractor has been locked into a three-way race with rivals Skanska and Thomas Vale for the £20m first phase of the landmark former newspaper printing works site.
A project insider told the Enquirer: “The project was due on site in May but was delayed slightly through the bidding process while the winning contractor was selected.”
Balfour Beatty should now start work on the basement by the end of July.
Phase 1 will see the shell of the old newspaper building demolished. The existing 70m deep basement will then be converted into a 6-deck, 800 space car park with a two storey building above.
The complex basement job will see Balfour sequentially demolish individual existing basement levels to allow concrete to be poured into the area to create the underground car park.
“It’s a complex job because existing floors need to be retained while the car park levels are built from the bottom up,” added the project insider.
The first floor of the building be for retail with a sacrificial second floor to allow phase two to be built at a later stage.
Outline consent has been obtained to establish the future height and massing of the building, which is expected to rise to 14-storeys.
But developer Chatham Billingham will not start the high rise phase until they have signed a pre-let.