Work on a new seven-storey building in Leeds’ Aire Park development is due to start next year after planners approved the next phase of the project.
The ambitious South Bank regeneration project aims to double the size of Leeds city centre. Leeds City Council has approved plans for the Vastint The UK building, which will provide 75,000 square feet of office space and nearly 7,000 square feet of flexible ground floor space for local retail, food service and leisure businesses .
The new building is located on the corner of Waterloo Street and Hunslet Road, next to the iconic Tetley Building and will mark the gateway to Aire Park as you approach Leeds train station and the city centre.
The announcement couldn’t be more timely as shocking new figures show that Leeds city center‘s overall vacancy rate is just 1.5% of the total market, with just under 200,000 square feet of downtown stock currently available – down 30% on the 10-year average. Business leaders say the lack of good quality office inventory is hampering occupiers and contributing to rising rents as commercial tenants seek to emerge from the pandemic and embrace new ways of working.
The Aire Park development will create a new community as part of the regeneration of the South Bank area. Plans for the first phase of the development include 850 new homes, offices, shops, a hotel and a new city center park at its heart. The park will be the UK’s largest new city center green space, providing over six acres of public park and outdoor space in the first phase of the master plan.
The building was designed by Cartwright Pickard Architects. Fabricating elements of the structure and facade off-site will help make the building more environmentally friendly by maximizing its thermal performance and reducing waste.
The ground floor has been designed as a flexible coworking space, with bicycle storage and changing rooms. Floor-to-ceiling windows on all sides of the building will also provide office workers with 360-degree views of Leeds. The building also has a large roof terrace with views over the park and the Leeds skyline.
Simon Schofield, Vastint UK’s Building Manager for the North, said: “Since planning permission was first submitted for Aire Park, we have seen tremendous interest and support from the local public, and this approval brings us one step closer to realizing Aire Park as a new inner city area for the people of Leeds.
“This exciting design will help recreate the historic route of Hunslet Road, while providing state-of-the-art office and commercial space in the very heart of Leeds. Our long-term investment in Aire Park complements the city’s plans as a whole and create a thriving community in the South Bank area.
“By working closely with surrounding landowners and redeveloping the land, which is part of the South Rim’s rich history, we are ensuring that Aire Park forms vital links between the South Rim and the city center. creating a welcoming and inclusive environment.”