‘Visible progress’ on the long-awaited Sheffield Retail Quarter will be made this summer, Sheffield Council today promised.
Cabinet members will meet to sign off investment in the development later this month, allowing contractors to finally get on with the £480 million project.
The first phase incorporates the new home of HSBC, which will move from its existing offices in Hoyle Street and Griffin House by 2019.
Demolition of the Grosvenor Hotel and neighbouring shops to make way for the new development is likely to start in August. A public consultation on phase one will be launched this month.
The council’s deputy leader, Leigh Bramall, said work was ‘progressing well’.
He added: “People will have already noticed we have done some preparatory work for the demolition of the Grosvenor Hotel, such as removing asbestos, and the building will start to be pulled down in August.
“This is a really exciting time for the project but it’s worth remembering that a development of this size and complexity takes time. We want it to be absolutely right for Sheffield city centre.”
Two major deals on the retail quarter have already been signed. The council has chosen Queensberry Real Estate as its strategic development partner, and has secured HSBC as the major office tenant. The bank will move from its offices in Hoyle Street and Griffin House to the retail quarter by 2019.
Coun Bramall said: “Over the coming months there should be more visible progress for people to see as work starts ‘on the ground’ .”
Cabinet members have been asked to approve, by July 20, the investment case to advance the next stages of the scheme, including the delivery of a first phase of the scheme, a large retail and office block on the site of the former Grosvenor Hotel.
The new offices will be pre-let to HSBC as their new headquarters in Sheffield.
In May the bank announced it was making almost 600 Sheffield workers redundant as it moves IT jobs to India, China and Poland.
Coun Bramall said: “This first phase will be subject to a detailed planning application and we will be asking people to give us their views on the plans in a consultation process starting later this month.”
The retail quarter project aims to transform the area from the south end of Fargate to Charter Square. The council hopes it, along with the redevelopment of The Moor and Castlegate areas, will completely transform the city centre.