Sheffield warehouse in line for major revival with flats, shops, cafés and bars planned

How Nichols & Co - the revamped Nichols Building at Shalesmoor in Sheffield - would look
How Nichols & Co - the revamped Nichols Building at Shalesmoor in Sheffield - would look

A Victorian warehouse in a resurgent area of Sheffield is to be revamped to become a £6 million home for new shops, cafés and bars as well as nearly 50 apartments.

The Nichols Building close to the Shalesmoor roundabout will be refurbished and enlarged, with a seven-storey block created alongside, under plans submitted to the city council.

The Nichols Building, Shalesmoor. Picture: Dean Atkins

The Nichols Building, Shalesmoor. Picture: Dean Atkins

Proposals involve using the warehouse, built in 1854 to store produce for a wholesale grocer's, for a mixed-use scheme comprising commercial space on the ground floor, a courtyard and 48 'high-quality' rented homes, ranging from studio flats to one- and two-bedroom units. A rooftop extension would be added, while some structures would be demolished and replaced.

The complex, presently used as a vintage emporium selling furniture, clothes, records, ceramics and glassware, alongside a café and dance school, would be called 'Nichols & Co' - the place's original name. It is expected to be completed in December 2019 and the anticipated development costs are £6m.

Brought forward by Sheffield property developer Ashgate and HLM Architects, the project is the latest to be proposed in Shalesmoor, not far from fashionable Kelham Island which has gained a reputation as an 'urban village' popular with young professionals.

Next door to the Nichols Building, on a large, disused patch of land, a £45m scheme is planned offering nearly 500 private rented flats in five blocks, one of which will reach 20 storeys, along with public squares, townhouses and commercial units. Nearby, the adjacent former HSBC offices will be knocked down in favour of a £70m development of 247 residential apartments and flats for 658 students, keeping the rare Grade II-listed cementation furnace on Doncaster Street at its core.

An advertisement for Nichols and Co., Grocers, Tea Blenders and Coffee Roasters, Shalesmoor, from 1919

An advertisement for Nichols and Co., Grocers, Tea Blenders and Coffee Roasters, Shalesmoor, from 1919

The Nichols development lies within the Furnace Hill conservation area, closely linked with Sheffield's historic metal trades industry. The three-storey warehouse's Victorian frontage will be retained, it is promised, and brickwork and sandstone features are to be restored. Step-free access would provide a better environment for disabled people.

A statement submitted as part of the application says: "The existing building presents a hard edge to the street and offers little in the way of active frontage. Although the building is currently occupied, the condition of the building is poor and would benefit significantly from redevelopment."

The proposals are reminiscent of The Tetley, the old brewery headquarters in Leeds that became an arts centre with workspaces, a restaurant and bar in 2013. The offices of Jaywing, at an old forge on Sidney Street in Sheffield, and Pop Brixton - a community of independent retailers, restaurants, street food startups and social enterprises in London - have also been cited as inspiration.

Ashgate's Matthew Jacques said tenants were being sought. “Following the success of Kelham Island, Shalesmoor is set to become a highly desirable place to live. We are committed to bringing something special to the city and believe Nichols and Co. will deliver on this."

An artist's impression of Nichols & Co, showing the new courtyard space.

An artist's impression of Nichols & Co, showing the new courtyard space.

Delia Harmston, who leads the Sheffield office of HLM, added: “That such a high-quality PRS development is coming forward in Sheffield is great news for the city, reflecting our ambitions as a great place to live and work.”

Council officers will scrutinise the designs before a verdict is reached.