More flats as offices close

Sheffield’s traditional business district is set to be “well over” 50 per cent residential in the next five years, a commercial agent claims.

Plans to convert Sovereign House on Queen Street into 178 student studios are another sign the area is in rapid transition, according to Martin Crosthwaite.

Knight Knox International is set to spend £6m converting the 11-storey building after gaining approval from Sheffield city council.

It follows the closure or conversion of several buildings including 92-98 Queens Street, 7 St Peters Close and Weston Tower.

Sheffield City Council is expected to leave New Bank House on Queen Street when the lease is up within two years, under a policy which has seen it move staff into the massive Moorfoot building.

Mr Crosthwaite said: “Queen Street is in transition, companies now either want to be in the heart of the city or further out of town where they don’t have to cope with the traffic.

“I think in five years’ time a lot more than 50 per cent of the office space on it will be residential.”

The St Paul’s development now lays claim to being the city’s new business district, he added.

Its Grade ‘A’ offices overlooking the Peace Gardens are home to Barclays and law firm DLA Piper.

Global accountancy firm PwC is moving in soon. Work on a third block – 3 St Pauls – started a few weeks ago.

Sovereign House is set to be ready by July 2015 - about the same time as Telephone House will be finished.

BT’s 15-storey former base overlooking Charter Square is being converted into 347 student flats.

Weston Tower at West Bar is also set to become flats.