It’s been a long time in coming... but construction work on Sheffield Retail Quarter will begin next week, the city council has confirmed.
Work on the six-storey office block and shops on the site of the old Grosvenor House Hotel will start on Monday.
Construction firm BAM has been appointed to handle the first phase of the multi-million pound development, which the council hopes will transform the city centre.
Once complete the office block will be the new home for HSBC’s Sheffield staff.
The remains of the old hotel have now been cleared and the site has been prepared for BAM to start work.
Work is also taking place to create a new public space on the former Charter Square roundabout.
Our pictures show the view from the lobby of The Light cinema and the artist’s impression of the new development side by side for the first time.
Plans for a transformed city centre were first approved in 2006 but the scheme was put on hold in 2009 – and in July 2013 the scheme was scrapped before being replaced by the new Sheffield Retail Quarter.
A newsletter sent to businesses and residents near the site says: “This will be an exciting time with lots of activity happening and we wanted to ensure that you were fully aware of what was happening on your doorstep.
“From Monday April 10 BAM will officially take possession of the site which is marked out by the grey hoarding.
“During this week we will also take delivery of two piling rigs, which are large drilling machines used to construct the concrete pile foundations for the building.
“These rigs will start drilling at the Furnival Gate end of the site and work their way across the footprint of the building towards Wellington Street.
“Running simultaneously with the piling rigs will be a large earth-moving exercise to allow the basement to be constructed.
“This will involve several excavators loading large tipper wagons at a rate of approximately 100 loads per day.
“In order to minimise disruption, BAM have worked closely with Sheffield Council to develop a set of controls to minimise any disruption you may experience.”
The controls include a traffic management plan, wheel washing to minimise mud on the roads, noise monitoring and dust damping.
Working hours will be 7.30am to 6.30pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 5pm Saturday. HSBC has signed a deal to move into the new office block once it is complete in 2019.
Sheffield Council has yet to put in a planning application for the second phase of the retail quarter.
Discussions with potential anchor tenant John Lewis are understood to be ongoing.