Business district moves across city

Sovereign House
Sovereign House
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Sheffield’s traditional business district is set to become “well over” 50 per cent residential in the next five years, a commercial agent says.

Plans to convert Sovereign House on Queen Street into 178 student studios are another sign the area is in rapid transition, according to Martin Crosthwaite.

Knight Knox International is set to spend £6m converting the 11-storey building after gaining approval from the city council.

It follows the closure or conversion of several buildings in the area including 92-98 Queen Street, 7 St Peters Close and Weston Tower.

Sheffield City Council is expected to leave New Bank House on Queen Street when the lease is up within two years, under a policy which has seen it move staff into the massive Moorfoot building.

Mr Crosthwaite said: “Queen Street is in transition, companies now either want to be in the heart of the city or further out of town where they don’t have to cope with the traffic.

“I think in five years’ time a lot more than 50 per cent of the office space on it will be residential.”

The St Paul’s development now lays claim to being the city’s new business district, he added.

Its Grade ‘A’ offices overlooking the Peace Gardens are home to Barclays and law firm DLA Piper. Global accountancy firm PwC is moving in soon.

Work on a third block - 3 St Pauls - started a few weeks ago.

Sovereign House is set to be ready by July 2015 in time for the academic year - about the same time as Telephone House will be finished.

BT’s 15-storey former base overlooking Charter Square is also being converted into 347 student flats.

Weston Tower at West Bar is another office block being converted into accommodation. It was sold last July to London-based investors. Contractors started to remove asbestos this week.

A full planning application is set to be submitted within eight weeks, a spokesman said.

Mr Crosthwaite added: “The majority of office buildings coming to market in the last few years have been due to the council or Government departments such as the DWP vacating them .”