Yorkshire development: ones to watch in 2023
Nothing happens overnight in property, and never has that been more true than now, with various sub-sectors pausing for thought as markets look to settle in post-Covid. Here, we’ve selected a range of projects from across the region that are worth keeping an eye on in 2023 and beyond.
Wellington Place, Leeds
Over the last 15 years, Wellington Place has become a mature business district, with a phased series of workplaces, residential and leisure having come forward. There is around 1.1m sq ft built out, with a further 600,000 sq ft to go. Buildings 11 and 12 are on the cusp of completion, and it is highly likely that Number 9 will break ground this year.
This is a comprehensive refurbishment project at the Wakefield 41 development, which will bring 211,000 sq ft to the product-starved West Yorkshire industrial market. The site’s background as a former printworks means there will be a strong power supply, igniting further interest in the scheme. London-based Melburg is behind the project, expected to complete in April.
Skelton Grange, Leeds
Sometimes billed as Logistics Leeds, the former power station site had been batted around for some years before Harworth acquired it in 2014. The site is adjacent to Junction 45 of the M1 and Aire Valley Enterprise Zone, and enjoys historic consent for 855,000 sq ft of employment space and a 300,000 sq ft energy from waste facility, now being advanced by Wheelabrator Technologies. Agents describe it as a project both Leeds and West Yorkshire Combined Authority are keen to see happen.
Wellington Plaza, Leeds
Developers: Prescient Capital and Asset Capital
The replacement of this vacant 1980s building now dwarfed by its millennial neighbours could interest occupiers in a market heavy with refurbishment schemes. Legal & General Investment Management sold the 21,000 sq ft building to Prescient Capital and Asset Capital in autumn 2022, with plans afoot for a 65,000 sq ft redevelopment. DLA Architecture, experienced in Leeds’ West End, is tasked with the design.
Climate Innovation District, Leeds
Close to Leeds Dock, this urban area is a test-bed charged with driving forward best practice in sustainable development. In 2022, developer Citu received consent for a multigenerational building including a primary school, care home and apartments, addressing an oft-heard complaint about the lack of social amenity in development. Work on the overall project of 500 homes has been ongoing since 2016, with 200 residents already in place and two further buildings, Aire Lofts and the zero-carbon The Place, now under construction. Swedish designer White Arkitekter is among the key players.
One City Park, Bradford
A range of connected projects are advancing with an eye on Bradford’s year as the UK’s City of Culture in 2025. Muse’s One City Park, Bradford’s first grade A office building in 20 years, will open in summer 2023. The National Science & Media Museum closed in January to allow a £6m refurbishment. In November 2022, Bradford City Council paid £15.5m for the under-used 1970s Kirkgate shopping centre, enabling it to double the size of its plans for a ‘city village’ of 1,000 homes. A new market on the former M&S site is also advancing.
Whitehall Riverside, Leeds
Developers: Town Centre Securities, Glenbrook
Two separate schemes are moving forward: Glenbrook secured consent in December for 500 apartments across two buildings of 15 and 18 storeys, designed by Sheppard Robson. TCS is expected to go to committee soon with plans for a 118,000 sq ft office building and an EV-led car park. Enjoy Design is the masterplan architect. Further phases include an aparthotel and workspace.
Developer: Keyland Developments
Close to Bradford, the site forms part of a Yorkshire Water treatment works, the operational footprint of which has been reduced significantly in recent years. Keyland, the utilities company’s development business, is advancing 150 exemplar sustainable homes and 1m sq ft of employment space in a flagship project on which it is working closely with 3Adapt and architect Tate + Co, a specialist in sustainable buildings in sensitive locations.
First White Cloth Hall, Leeds
Working with Buttress Architects, a specialist in sensitive treatment of historic buildings, Cloth Hall was launched in 2022, with developer Rushbond looking to create something special for a workspace operator or concept retailer that fancies some characterful space. Built in 1711 as the city’s first covered market, the hall led the growth of Kirkgate as Leeds flourished. The scheme will link visually to the Corn Exchange.
Huntwick Grange, Featherstone
Developer: Keyland Developments
South of Featherstone and allocated in the Wakefield Local Plan, the site has capacity for 1,500 houses. Keyland land and planning director Luke Axe says: “The conventional wisdom would be to just get three PLC housebuilders in to let them go at it over 20 years, but we don’t want to do that.” Instead, Keyland is advancing plans that include 300 to 400 custom self-build homes and efficiently-plotted bungalows – ever popular with buyers, but rarely catered for by the PLCs.
West Village, Leeds
Developer: Bruntwood Works
The 229,000 sq ft West Village will be Bruntwood Works’ first Pioneer project in Yorkshire, Pioneer being the property company’s inventory of buildings characterised by ESG-first design, flexible options and shared services across the programme for tenants. A comprehensive redevelopment of the West One estate is due to open in summer 2023 and will have external green walls and biophilic design throughout with wellness being the key message. A four-storey extension will create private terraces and roof gardens.
Aire Park, Leeds
Developer: Vastint UK
Situated around the former Carlsberg-Tetley brewery estate in Leeds’ brimming-with-promise South Bank, Aire Park is being advanced by Vastint, part of the global property business spun out of Ikea. Consent was given in April 2022 for the second commercial building at Aire Park – designed by Cartwright Pickard, this will include 75,000 sq ft of offices and 7,000 sq ft of flexible ground floor space. The wider scheme also includes a park and public events space, work on which is well under way – along with the first office building, completion is expected this year. The scheme also features new public spaces, linking new development with the Tetley’s building and listed Salem Chapel.
White Rose Office Park, Leeds
Developer: Munroe K
In 2022, the long-term owner of the park was joined as a 50% owner by Immobel Capital Partners, part of Belgium’s largest listed real estate firm. With a new railway station due to open in 2024, the park is to roll out 100,000 sq ft of new development. The 28-acre campus currently houses around 500,000 sq ft of space and is 99% let.
Work has now begun on the last building at @TheDock, the tech campus within Wykeland’s Fruit Market urban village, bringing a further 11,000 sq ft to a development that has been an important part of the Hull regeneration story, with occupiers such as the Centre for Digital Innovation now bringing new life to the previously derelict waterfront site. Castlehouse Construction is delivering the scheme, to designs by The Harris Partnership.
Western Docklands, Hull
Developer: Hull City Council
Consultation will open in February on a masterplan for the Western Docklands, which forms a gateway into the city along a landmark waterfront area. Hull City Council’s cabinet approved the masterplan moving to this stage in January, with the council eager to have plans in place for when medical supplies business Smith & Nephew departs the area in the next few years. The masterplan will include a cruise terminal, the incoming Lib Dem leadership having scrapped previous plans to locate this next to The Deep, and a reworking of space to bring in new office and residential development.
Developer: Opus North and Bridges Fund Management
At Junction 47 of the A1(M), Harrogate 47 will provide offices from 5,000 sq ft to 20,000 sq ft, high-tech hybrid units of up to 12,000 sq ft, and industrial/warehousing units of up to 120,000 sq ft, along with trade counter and food and roadside retail opportunities. Acquired in 2020 with an existing outline consent for up to 600,000 sq ft, detailed plans were approved in March 2022, with the 45-acre scheme billed as a sustainable business park.
Developer: Homes England and Network Rail
A joint venture between the public bodies along with York City Council and the National Railway Museum, York Central could see 1m sq ft of commercial space and 2,500 homes delivered across 111 acres, with more than £130m in government support committed. Allies & Morrison is engaged as architect, while John Sisk & Son started a three-year £100m infrastructure programme in summer 2022. A selection process is now under way to select a development partner, with the outcome expected in May or June this year.
Marrtree Business Park, York
Developer: Marrtree Investments
Work started in January on Marrtree Investments’ 2.4-acre business park on the site of the former B&M store at Clifton Moor in York. The developer will have invested £4.5m by the time it completes, creating 27,000 sq ft of modern business space across four units ranging from 4,000 sq ft to 8,000 sq ft, as well as a Starbucks drive-through café. A business park specialist, Yorkshire-headquartered Marrtre last year completed phase two of its 70,000 sq ft development at Sowerby Gateway, a 950-home masterplan area in Thirsk.
Bessemer Park, Sheffield
Immediately south of the Meadowhall shopping centre, Bessemer Park is described as a nationally significant site, offering immediate access to Junction 34 of the M1. A first phase of two speculative units, comprising 45,000 sq ft and 134,000 sq ft, was built out in 2019 and pre-let to Arthrex and ITM Power. Following this, PLP lodged reserved matters plans for 600,000 sq ft across a further four units.
Kelham Central, Sheffield
Little Kelham has already been a triumph, with 200 low-carbon homes delivered since 2013. Work is now under way on Kelham Central, which will comprise 113 homes, F&B space, offices, a large park. The homes will be built off-site at Citu’s Leeds factory,
Heart of the City, Sheffield
Developer: Queensberry and Sheffield City Council
A £690m mixed-use development, Heart of the City is a long-term project that encompasses grade A offices, apartments for sale and Kangaroo Works, a build-to-rent scheme by Ridgeback Group. Grosvenor House, the first office to complete, welcomed a consolidation by HSBC into 144,000 sq ft, with law firm CMS taking the remaining 47,500 sq ft. Currently available is the 39,000 sq ft Isaacs Building, while Elsham House is six months away. The Athol Hotel is being redeveloped into apartments, flex workspace, townhouses and retail, while renovation elements coming forward in 2023 include Leah’s Yard, which is amid a £6m redevelopment, and Cambridge Street.
Developer: Waystone and Hargreaves Land
By any standard, Unity is a major project. Weighing in at 618 acres, the masterplan area encompasses 3,000 homes, a new town centre, a marina, school and transport hub, all around the former Hatfield colliery. There are 150 acres dedicated to commercial use – including big box and mid-box logistics at Unity Connect and Unity Link – and 200 acres of open space. Consultation has taken place on the first mixed commercial and residential work at Unity Park. Outline consent is in place for the whole site, which sits off the eastern part of the M18/M180, to the east of Stainforth. A new link road opened in December 2020.
Forge Island, Rotherham
Still a year short of completion, Muse’s leisure scheme is now fully pre-let, following a January 2023 deal with Yorkshire company The Rusitc Pizza Co. In partnership with Rotherham Council, work started in November 2022, where independents will be the name of the game. Independent cinema operator The Arc has also committed, along with hotel group Travelodge. A new pedestrian bridge will connect the site to the town centre.
The European real estate investment group co-founded by Chelsea FC chairman Todd Boehly hit the headlines in 2022 with the announcement that it was to build a 405,411 sq ft logistics facility, optimised for a single occupier, close to Doncaster. The site is on the M18, linking to the M62 and M1.
Three speculatively built units are currently on site at iPort, heading for completion in June. These buildings will offer 82,000 sq ft, 165,000 sq ft and 328,000 sq ft respectively. Linking to Junction 3 of the M18 via the newly built Great Yorkshire Way, iPort is a monster of a logistics scheme, already home to occupiers including Amazon, Lidl and Fellowes. Some 800 acres of flexible opportunities remain.
Arrow Point, Barnsley
Developer: Newlands Developments and Arrow Capital Partners
Representing Newlands’ first venture in the North, Arrow Point comprises two industrial units, one of 186,000 sq ft and another of 265,000 sq ft, close to Junction 36 of the M1. Both buildings include around 12,000 sq ft of supporting office space.