A £35m scheme to regenerate a site on Ecclesall Road in Sheffield with private and student apartments is unveiled today (Thursday).
Retail units at ground level are also part of the proposed development designed to replace what was once a car dealership towards the city centre end of the road and reintroducing an active streetscape to this section.
It will be a major boost to the area and the local economy, in line with its vibrant and cosmopolitan character, says Sheffield-based Hallminster Ltd, who are holding a public exhibition tomorrow (Friday).
It is estimated that the development will create 300 jobs during the construction phase and 100 plus permanent jobs.
“It’s an important mixed use scheme for Ecclesall Road, on a site that has been long overdue for redevelopment,” said Hallminster representative Dan Simpson.
“It will be a very high quality project with a community feel and will bring that part of the road alive, providing an important link between Ecclesall Road and the city centre.”
Two main elements are planned between Summerfield Street and Pear Street, and near the old Wards Brewery.
One will have approximately 120 residential apartments designed for single people, couples and families, especially aimed at the professional sector.
The other will have 44 student apartments, each having comprehensive shared facilities at a high-spec standard required by increasing numbers of overseas students, especially from both the UK and abroad, who are choosing to study in Sheffield.
Shops and other outlets in keeping with the character of Ecclesall Road are planned at ground level.
The site, which has been ripe for development for nearly four years, was a Vauxhall car dealership before being turned into its current temporary use, a furniture showroom. There is an adjoining outdoor café. A nearby car wash outlet is unaffected.
Nearby residents, traders, other businesses and councillors are being invited to an exhibition today at the MAF Properties offices (who will retain and manage part of the scheme) at 114 Ecclesall Road, when the developers and architects will be on hand to answer questions.
MAF Properties has been providing student and private housing in Sheffield for more than 25 years, including the Ecclesall Gate residential development on the opposite side of Ecclesall Road to the one Hallminster is now aiming to secure council approval for. It is nearing completion of another student complex, Devonshire Point, in Fitzwilliam Street, again on the fringe of the city centre.
This latest project is being delivered by Sheffield-based Hallminster Ltd. Ownership of the land, its redevelopment and its management will remain in the same local hands.
The award-winning architects are another Sheffield company, Bond Bryan Architects Ltd.
“We kept going when things were tough in 2011 and 2012, ensuring there were still cranes on the skyline of Sheffield, and now this is one of our biggest projects so far,” said Mr Simpson.
“It will regenerate another part of Ecclesall Road, in keeping with its distinctive character, creating a new sustainable community and providing employment opportunities for the city at the same time.
“We have had some positive feedback from both universities.”
Mr Simpson added: “The development is intended to look visually striking and will have a very high specification. It will incorporate environmentally-friendly measures, modern methods of construction and the utilisation of materials that have a relatively low embodied energy will make the development sustainable throughout its life.
“There will be a sustainable external amenity space in the form of semi-private gardens, roof top terraces and balconies will appeal to young families. There is also a large landscaped communal courtyard at the heart of the development with a variety of native species of plants and trees encouraging biodiversity and providing a habitat for wildlife.”
Public consultation is being held ahead of a planning application being submitted to the council. It is hoped that construction can start in Autumn 2015 ready for the first residents in Summer 2017.
The Ecclesall Road project reflects a surge of interest among developers in sites on the edge of the city centre, especially around the south west and with a view to attracting students.
- Land between nearby London Road and Bramall Lane is earmarked for the £65m New Era Square ‘Chinatown’ development of student accommodation, shops, business incubator units, offices and food and drink outlets.