Shopping centres aren’t the only thing coming to Leeds over the next few years, as a series of new and old developments are set to bring a host of businesses into the city.
If you look over Leeds, the sight of a crane or two is almost unavoidable. The city’s former derelict spaces are being built up and lots of them are going to become prime real estate for businesses looking to invest in the North’s fastest growing city. From the former home of the Yorkshire Post to new plans to create creative hub on the waterfront, these developments are making Leeds the place for businesses to be.
MEPC’s commitment to transforming an area of Leeds that had been an afterthought of post-war growth should be commended as they’ve gone about bringing first class offices, and in turn, businesses to Leeds.
As the stewards of the Wellington Place development, they will have overseen the completion of 1.2 million square foot of commercial, retail, leisure and residential space, making it a destination area for businesses looking to invest in Leeds, with the likes of Sky and Allianz already residents.
That work will continue over the next few years as the rest of the site gets transformed into one of Leeds’ most important business hubs. Pre-lets are already available for 3, 5 and 6 Wellington Place which offer over 280,000 square foot between them, and if their track record is anything to go by, the effect it will have on Leeds’ corporate reputation will be huge.
Nestled just behind Leeds train station, one of the major gateways to the city, it would be an absolute waste to see a space such as Sovereign Square go without use. That’s all about to change as a trio of mixed use office and leisure buildings are being erected around the city’s newest green space.
Formerly the site of the old Queens Hall, it has been used as a car park for the past twenty years, but after failed projects like the Criterion Place skyscraper fell through, more sensible plans have been drawn up for its future.
Professional services group KPMG have taken No 1 Sovereign Square, utilising a 61,000 square foot building, while on the other side of the site, where Sovereign Street meets Swinegate, No 3 Sovereign Square will be turned into a five floor, 18,300 square foot site by Bruntwood and Kier Property. One last plot, No 2, is looking to be filled by 2017 while the surrounding areas between the buildings should transform it into one of the best landscaped areas in the city centre.
Another casualty of the recession was the doomed Lumière project on Wellington Street. Set to be Leeds’ first and largest skyscraper, plans fell through as money problems hit the developers. Now though, the former site of Leeds Central Train Station is going to become a vital development that will attract big business to Leeds.
Solely focusing on 220,000 square foot of commercial property, with ground floor retail facilities and a duo of winter and sky gardens, Central Square will be another timely boost to the city’s business offering when it fully opens in 2016.
At such a prime location, with eleven floors of Grade A office space to rent out to the most determined bidders, owners Roydhouse Properties and Marrico LLP have made sensible use of a under-utilised space that will mean Leeds has more prime space to let, and better businesses to attract.
Yorkshire Post Site
While there are still plans for the site of the former Yorkshire Post building on the corner of Wellington Street to become a car park in the meantime, there’s a more intriguing plans afoot to turn it into a mixed use scheme, with the first occupiers to move in by 2017.
It’s a boost for a site that was once home to an iconic, if not particularly pretty building in the city, and suggests that Leeds is no longer in the business of knocking down buildings and leaving the space empty. Plans submitted to Leeds City Council by Sheppard Robson for owners YP Real Estate outline proposals for three detached company head office buildings at 13,400 square foot, 12,600 square foot, and 21,200 square foot respectively.
Plans also include a landmark hotel, residential tower, leisure units alongside public green space, which is something that should delight the people of Leeds who saw the plot as a perfect opportunity to tackle Leeds’ lack of open areas.
It may seem an odd one, as many of you will know that Leeds Dock has been here for a while. However, owners Allied London have had planning approval for their new office building known as ‘The Engine’ on the site of the former Alea Casino.
In an attempt to continue their Leeds Dock revolution as they seek to fulfil the potential of the site originally known as Clarence Dock, Allied London see The Engine as a way of invigorating their plans for a new city centre neighbourhood, where work, play and living all exist in equal measure.
Alongside the 70,000 square foot of customisable office space geared towards the city’s creative, media and technology industries, it’s set to transform the area, integrating it better with local infrastructure thanks to new shuttle bus services, cycle routes and pathways as well as the rather fun water taxi services already in place.