Urbo (West Bar) Ltd, a joint venture between Urbo and Peveril Securities, the development arm of the Bowmer and Kirkland Group is behind the West Bar Square project, located on the Inner Ring Road between the Kelham Island district and Sheffield’s Cathedral Quarter.
The first phase of development will comprise 200,000 square feet of Grade A office space, 350 ‘Build To Rent’ homes, a multi-storey car park and high quality landscaped public spaces. The partnership is in discussions with Legal & General to bring forward this vision as the company continues to support the development of UK cities.
This is thought to be the largest ever private sector investment in a single phase of development in Sheffield City Centre and comes just weeks after US property investors Angelo Gordon announced a £50m scheme as part of the Heart Of The City II development.
Sheffield City Council has also recently announced £10m of funding for its Grey to Green and Knowledge Gateway programmes which will follow the multiple award winning Grey to Green project at West Bar.
Urbo has been working with Sheffield City Council for several years to develop the West Bar Square scheme which was granted outline planning consent in 2017. Detailed designs by leading architect 5plus will support the reserved matters planning applications for the first phases of development. A report to the Council’s Cabinet in February sets out a proposal for the Council to enter into an agreement to take a lease of one of the new office buildings.
The West Bar Square project enjoys a prominent position on the Inner Ring Road between the booming Kelham Island district and Sheffield’s Cathedral Quarter.
The first phase will deliver large footprint, modern office space, which is currently lacking within Sheffield’s property market and when this element is complete, it is expected to accommodate up to 1,800 workers. The creation of West Bar Square will complement the neighbouring Riverside Business District which already boasts key office occupiers including the Home Office, top 50 law firm Irwin Mitchell and the Crown and Family Courts.
Peter Swallow, Managing Director of Urbo Regeneration said: “This is a massively significant investment for Sheffield, and is a vote of confidence in the future of the City as a whole. The partnership will deliver large scale regeneration in this important part of the City, linking the rapidly expanding Kelham Island district to the City Centre.
Ralph Jones, Managing Director of Peveril Securities and main board director of Bowmer & Kirkland, said: “We are delighted to enter into this exciting partnership and are already working with Legal & General on a similar major Government Hub office scheme in the Midlands. We are looking forward to the possibility of working together again to deliver this market-leading development in Sheffield.
Councillor Mazher Iqbal, Sheffield City Council Cabinet Member for Business and Investment, said: “This is fantastic news and yet another example of how we are attracting major new investment partners into the city. We are repeatedly being told that there is a shortage of new Grade A office space in the City Centre which could have a negative impact on the local economy in terms of options for new or existing businesses to move and expand.
“As a Council we are helping to address this through making sensible targeted interventions in the market with partners. This development will create jobs, living spaces and improved neighbourhoods right in the heart of Sheffield and provides better connectivity between the city centre and Kelham. It’s a huge project and Sheffield can’t wait for it to get started.”