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Green Light For New Leeds Hotel
Green Light For New Leeds Hotel
A major new city centre hotel project in Leeds has been granted planning permission, providing the final element of the redevelopment of the Sovereign Street site.
Developer Marrico Asset Management proposed the 14-storey hotel as the final touch to the transformation of the site. Previous schemes included the construction of office buildings in 2015 and 2016, which are now occupied by KPMG and Addleshaw Goddard respectively. The project has also included a £250,000 public open space.
When finished, the hotel will provide 331 beds and 80 permanent jobs. According to the Yorkshire Evening Post, the development will provide 190 construction jobs, although Insider Media states the figure is round 170. Either way, scaffolders in Leeds will be among them as the new building takes shape.
Supporting the project for the site, the chief planning officer’s report to Leeds City Council said: “The proposal offers the opportunity to complete the successful regeneration of the award-winning Sovereign Square.”
The report noted that as well as complementing the other developments and the green space created on the site, it has “the potential to be an addition worthy of its location, by successfully integrating into the square and delivering new pedestrian connections”.
In stressing these points in its recommendations, the report has highlighted some of the key themes of the development of Leeds city centre, with major new projects such as residential buildings, student accommodation, hotels and new office space being complemented by new open spaces.
This means establishing a balance between more greenery beneath the feet as well as an increase in tall buildings, with pedestrians given more space to enjoy and access to walk around the centre, which was hitherto the subject of numerous road-based postwar developments like the A58M and A64M inner ring road.
The construction of the new hotel will be led by Leeds-based GMI. The firm has been enjoying rapid growth of its own in recent years, but revealed this week that this had stalled somewhat in 2020 due to the pandemic, Construction News reports.
While turnover had dropped from £132.1 million in 2019 to £114.7 million in 2020 as the pandemic stalled various projects, it is still growing and expects to continue to do so. This is partly because of its schemes in Leeds, of which just some are in the city centre.
The most notable of these is the 195,000 sq ft office building scheme at Thorpe Park that was agreed in February between Scarborough Group International and credit management firm Lowell. The building will feature 133,118 sq ft of floorspace when completed, making it the largest single out of town office deal ever in West Yorkshire.
GMI had already started ground preparation works at the site before the announcement, with the aim being to complete the construction work by the third quarter of 2022.
The firm’s city centre projects include the redevelopment of the office building at 12 King Street and the Oak House development, involving the demolition of an existing office block and its replacement with a 188-bed student accommodation facility ringing from three to six floors in height.