Sign-off secured for Leeds Urban Village changes
Joint venture partners Cole Waterhouse and Tonia Investments will step up their funding hunt after approval for wellness-linked alterations at the £185m Leeds project.
The partnership acquired the 3.8-acre site in May 2022 with full detailed planning permission for 1,012 apartments across five towers with commercial space on the ground floor.
Following the purchase, Leeds-based DLG Architects and landscape specialists Exterior Architecture were appointed to review the scheme design with a focus on enhanced placemaking and a significant review of its wind mitigation features, these plans being submitted in December.
The planning approval will mean there are wholesale changes to the building’s elevational and public realm design. Wind mitigation measures have also been substantially improved through changes to the towers’ form and massing.
Cole Waterhouse and Tonia are working with Colliers to find a funder for the project, with a start on site of Q2 2024 the aim.
Leeds Urban Village will deliver 1,012 residential apartments across five towers ranging from 13 to 23 storeys and will include 478 BTR apartments. The ground floor spaces will accommodate retail, food and beverage as well as resident amenities such as a shared pantry, cinema, gym and a ‘library of things’ – appliances and useful equipment for people to borrow.
The public realm, designed by Exterior Architecture, includes features such as a climbing wall and spaces for active play, whilst a large central hub offers opportunities for events, markets and gatherings.
A cycle hub has been added to the scheme as the partners seek a Fitwel healthy building design accreditation.
George Smith, planning manager at Cole Waterhouse, said: “These design enhancements will ensure that Leeds Urban Village is a desirable new urban neighbourhood and a cultural destination in itself, designed to meet and exceed people’s expectations now and in the future.
“Located in the heart of Leeds city centre with both the West Yorkshire Playhouse and Great Northern Ballet nearby, we have looked at how we best build on the surrounding cultural offer to deliver a vibrant and meaningful placemaking strategy to strengthen further our engagement with the cultural and creative community in Leeds as our vision for the site develops.”
Smith continued: “We have been working with Colliers to secure development funding and also working on the appointment of a main contractor. We are aiming to start on site in Q2 2024 to deliver the first phases of much needed Built-to-Rent homes for the city of Leeds.”
Cole Waterhouse, which has delivered schemes such as No.1 Old Trafford and the 29-storey Erie Dock, has a current pipeline of more than 2,000 residential units across its sites in Leeds, Birmingham and Manchester.