A £250 million scheme of offices, retail space, apartments and a hotel is on the way as part of a bid to transform the edge of Sheffield city centre.
West Bar Square will be built on a five-acre site between the law courts and Kelham Island, providing 600,000 sq ft of office space and jobs for up to 5,000 workers.
Previous proposals for West Bar were drawn up more than six years ago by a company called Castlemore.
But the business collapsed when the recession hit, and now a new deal has been signed with Chesterfield firm Urbo Regeneration.
West Bar Square is envisaged as the city’s ‘premier business destination’, providing large office buildings of the type required by large occupiers such as law firms and technology companies.
The scheme will help to expand the city centre and will be based around a landscaped square, on a similar scale to Millennium Square and St Paul’s Place, surrounded by cafes, shops, restaurants, a hotel and apartments.
This meets the original aspirations of the council, with a series of streets and a public squareAndy Dainty, Urbo Regeneration
Castlemore’s £400 million scheme featured a ‘citadel’ with three towers, two of which soared to 27 storeys - but Urbo director Andy Dainty said the scheme’s scale made it a difficult market proposition.
“This meets the original aspirations of the council, with a series of streets and a public square,” he said.
Site clearance is expected to begin shortly. A new planning application will be submitted with a view to construction starting next year, once occupiers are found for the first offices.
Each block will be built in phases, with buildings designed around companies’ specific requirements.
Work will also start next month on the first stage of the Grey to Green project, which will see part of the main road from West Bar to Castlegate dug up and planted with meadows, rain gardens, trees and shrubs, and fitted with a sustainable drainage system.
In addition there are continued hopes of creating a small ‘eco-park’ called Love Square on land near the bottom of Snig Hill.