New plans for next phase of city office scheme

Wellington Place in Leeds ..Picture by Simon Hulme
Wellington Place in Leeds ..Picture by Simon Hulme
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PLANS FOR a new office building, which could become home to a large civil service hub, have been submitted to the council.

A new eight-storey office building at Wellington Place in Leeds is proposed for land at 7 and 8 Wellington Place, which fronts on to Whitehall Road.

The application to Leeds City Council states that the Government Property Unit is considering a number of sites on which to locate a new government office hub in Leeds in 2019 and one of the shortlisted developments is at Wellington Place.

Last year, HMRC said it was planning to close 137 offices under a modernisation programme and replace them with 13 new regional centres, including one in Leeds in 2019.

MEPC and a government spokeswoman declined to comment on whether the Wellington Place proposal was linked to the HMRC requirement but the development as a whole is understood to be on the shortlist.

The building, which will be part of phase two of the Wellington Place development, will include 377,215 sq ft of office space, a further 22,125 sq ft for ancillary uses such as shops, cafes, bars and restaurants, and 182 basement car parking spaces.

If MEPC is unsuccessful in securing the requirement, the central link block will be removed to create two smaller office buildings, which will be more attractive to the wider office occupier market.

The company is currently developing Wellington Place, supported by investment giants Hermes Investment Management and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

Speaking to The Yorkshire Post, James Dipple, chief executive of MEPC said the company was currently concentrating on phase one.

To date, Wellington Place includes 215,000 sq ft of office and leisure space delivered; 75 per cent of which is currently let. No.3 Wellington Place, a 110,000 sq ft building, on the corner of Northern Street and Wellington Street is due for completion in 2017. The latest addition is 5 Wellington Place, a 75,257 sq ft office that was completed in July.

Mr Dipple said if all goes well with No.3, MEPC would start building No.4, the last piece of phase one, within the next two years.

“There are a few new enquiries in the market, with whom we have been building relationships for some time,” he said. “We take a long-term approach to marketing.

“We have got a few confidential discussions going on with companies from both in the city and those elsewhere looking to relocate.

“Leeds is a very attractive place for companies to locate to and it is incredibly good value.”