Property tycoon Kevin McCabe has unveiled plans for a £200 million upmarket shopping centre – sweeping away a grim part of Sheffield city centre.
The Blades joint owner wants to build a series of terraces, squares and escalators rising from Sheaf Street by the railway station to Arundel Gate. He believes its central position and developments planned around it make the area hot property.
‘DC Interchange’ would transform a rundown area around the bus station and the 1960s NCP car park that towers above it. Mr McCabe was in Sheffield for the ‘topping-out’ ceremony of a £20m office block on the Digital Campus next to the bus station.
The Scarborough Group boss has a 10-year vision for a £200 million upmarket shopping centre on a series of terraces linking Sheaf Street by the station and Arundel Gate high above, a climb he describes as like the ‘north face of the Eiger’.
The £200m plan could transform a run-down area, overlooked by a 1960s concrete car park, which is one of two main walking routes from the railway station into the city centre.
The other, up Howard Street, is an example of what can be done.
Mr McCabe revealed his plan on a visit to Sheffield to mark the ‘topping out’ of Acero, a £20m office block on the Digital Campus.
Set for completion in nine months, it stands next to the Electric Works and Ventana House.
A fourth building on the site – £17m Vidrio – is planned to start next year.
With HS2 set to pull into Midland Station, plans to develop Sheaf Square, and a string of developments by Sheffield Hallam University, the area is now the focus of intense interest.
Mr McCabe said: “We’d use terracing and escalators to overcome the height difference and take you up to city level, people expect comfort these days.
“This would be upmarket shopping and leisure with civic spaces which lead you into the core. It would be a high-quality ‘centre within a centre’ that would complement the department stores set to go into the Sheffield Retail Quarter.”
Acero – a 50:50 joint venture between Scarborough and Metro Holdings of Singapore – is believed to be the most expensive ‘speculative’ office scheme in Sheffield. It was started before a tenant signed up.
It is understood three Sheffield firms are interested in moving in and two from out of town.
Mr McCabe added: “Anyone can see what a major project this is for Sheffield. It will have top class rents and top class users to create more jobs in this fine city of ours. The building will be advertised nationally.”
Leigh Bramall, deputy council leader, said it would help put Sheffield on the map across the UK.
He added: “The council’s role is to create an environment in which the private sector can invest. And we have a better relationship than ever.
“It feels like this is Sheffield’s time. It has an incredibly bright future.”