Leeds City Council has approved plans for a new seven-storey building, which will provide 75,000 sqft of office space and almost 7,000 sqft of flexible ground floor space for local retail, restaurant and amenity businesses..
The new building is located on the corner of Waterloo Street and Hunslet Road, neighbouring the iconic, Tetley building, and will mark the gateway to Aire Park on the approach from Leeds train station and city centre. Work on the building is set to begin later this year.
The building has been designed by architects Cartwright Pickard, with sustainable construction and occupant wellbeing in mind. Manufacturing elements of the structure and façade offsite will help to make the building more environmentally friendly by maximising its thermal performance and reducing waste. The building will target BREEAM Excellent.
Reflecting changes in the world of work due to Covid-19, the ground floor has been designed for a flexible co-working space. Cycle storage and changing facilities promote healthy commuting and active lifestyles and, unlike a sealed air-conditioned office building, opening windows will give tenants control over levels of fresh air.
Floor-to-ceiling windows on all sides of the building will also give office workers 360-degree views across Leeds, providing high levels of natural light and a strong visual connection to the greenery of Aire Park. The building also has a large roof terrace with views across the park and Leeds’ skyline.
Simon Schofield, Vastint UK Construction Lead North, said:
“Since planning permission was first submitted for Aire Park, we’ve seen huge interest and support from the local public, and this approval brings us closer to realising Aire Park as a new city-centre district for the people of Leeds.
“This exciting design will help re-create the historic route of the Hunslet Road, whilst providing state of the art office and retail space in the very heart of Leeds. Our long-term investment in Aire Park complements the plans for the city as a whole and will create a thriving community in the South Bank area.
“By working closely with the surrounding landowners and redeveloping the land, which forms part of the South Bank’s rich history, we’re ensuring Aire Park forms vital links between the South Bank and city centre; creating a welcoming and inclusive environment.”
The announcement comes as overall city centre Grade A vacancy in Leeds stands at just 1.5% of the total market, with just under 200,000 sqft of city centre stock currently available – a 30% decrease on the 10-year average.
The lack of good quality office stock is hampering occupiers and contributing to rising rents, as commercial tenants look to move forward from the pandemic and embrace new ways of working.
Aire Park is a new, mixed-use district that will breathe new life into Leeds city centre, creating a new community as part of the regeneration of the South Bank area of Hunslet. Plans for the first phase of the development include 850 new homes, offices, shops, a hotel and a new city centre park at its heart. Both of Aire Park’s approved commercial buildings, alongside the new public park, will provide an environment which is currently lacking in central Leeds.
The park will be the largest new city centre green space in the UK, providing over six acres of public park and outdoor space in the first phase of the masterplan.
Located on the former Tetley Brewery site, Aire Park will be the centrepiece of the South Bank within walking distance of the city’s retail area, train station and waterfront.
A Leeds City Council Planning Officer’s report accompanying the decision said:
“The proposals present the next step in the delivery of the built setting to a 21st Century, child-friendly, biodiverse and climate change-adapted City Park for all generations, that would bring significant new pedestrian and cycle connections, the delivery of major office employment space in the South Bank, and the first phases of the regeneration of the Tetley Brewery site, which closed almost ten years ago.”
Director of Cartwright Pickard, Peter Cartwright said:
“It’s fantastic to see the shared vision for Aire Park continuing to come to life with this latest planning approval. This building will act as a gateway to the masterplan and create adaptable and inclusive office space alongside commercial space, contributing to the rich mix of uses that will transform the former Tetley Brewery site into a vibrant, green and climate-friendly city centre district. Cartwright Pickard are delighted to be working with Vastint UK and its partners to make this a reality.”
Plans have already been approved for additional commercial space, the restoration and expansion of the former Crown Hotel, and the detailed design of the park, as part of the first phase of the development.
For further information about Aire Park, visit airepark.co.uk.
This post is based on a press release issued by Vastint UK