Six contend for Sheffield’s Cole Brothers revamp
The city council said that it is mulling half a dozen “high quality proposals” from experienced property companies for the listed department store’s redevelopment.
Sheffield City Council said that “due to the number and quality of the submissions received during the marketing exercise, further analysis and discussion will be undertaken with the interested parties over the coming weeks” and thus, no further details about the make-up of the six proposals can be shared at this stage.
A final decision on the preferred bidder will be made by the local authority’s strategy and resources committee as soon as possible after the local elections in May.
The refurbishment of the building in Barkers Pool will unlock the next phase of Sheffield’s Heart of the City project. Cole Brothers moved to the Barkers Pool site from Fargate in the 1960s, and traded under that name to 2002 when it was subsumed into John Lewis.
The retail group ceased trading from the store in 2021. The building is now owned by the council, which is seeking to let the site on a 250-year lease.
Each of the bidders, the council said, plan to retain and enhance the building, with a variety of measures to improve the building’s efficiency in keeping with the council’s ambitions of achieving net zero by 2030.
Cllr Mazher Iqbal, co-chair of the transport, regeneration and climate policy committee, said: “I am very pleased to see progress being made on the Cole Brothers building and it is fantastic to see so many developers saw the potential of the site and our city.
“The building sits right in the middle of our £470m Heart of the City regeneration project and I can’t wait to see how it ties in with the rest of the brilliant work going on there and across the whole city. I look forward to seeing the final option for consideration.
“As we look towards the future of Sheffield and all the impressive regeneration works, it is important we consider not just the overall look but the environmental impact these works have on our city. I am very happy to see this has been a key consideration in the development of these plans and we have shown we are committed to achieving net zero by 2030 through actions, not just words.”
The Cole Brothers building was grade two-listed on the National Heritage List for England in August 2022 as a rare remaining example of “high modernism,” meaning Historic England has discussed each of the plans for the site.
The building was designed by Yorke Rosenberg and Mardall in 1961 and still contains many original features.