CITY GROWTH: £50m business hub for 2,500 people in Sheffield
More than 2,500 people could be working in the former HSBC complex following a £50m project to create a giant new business centre in Sheffield.
New owner, RBH Properties, plans to revamp all five blocks, between Tenter Street and Silver Street Head, and let them to business.
It will be as big as Sheffield City Council’s ‘Heart of the City II’ scheme, but rents will be cheaper, according to director Simon Brock.
The plan is to start on site in January.
He added: “I’m excited, there’s not a lot of space in this segment in Sheffield. Our goal is to have 2,500 people in there, it will be a big commercial hub.
“I’m enjoying the journey, having been totally daunted initially.”
RBH bought the complex in spring for £18m. Initial plans were for flats and a hotel, but the conversion costs were too high, Mr Brock said.
The new scheme is set to cost up to £30m and includes offices, co-working space, meeting rooms, cafes, restaurants and removing the ground and first floors of Block 4 to create a new public square.
“Sheffield has some great squares. We want this to be one where people go during the day and use it for events.”
The complex also has a little-known four-storey underground car park with 457 spaces.
RBH is using its own money and a planning application is due to be submitted in six weeks, Mr Brock added.
Enquiries had already come in from a call centre and companies in Sheffield and the UK. International firms had shown an interest due to the graduates from the two universities and the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Rotherham.
The first occupiers are set to move in late next year, but could be sooner. And while the Brexit impasse was slowing the economy, it wasn’t significant enough to halt plans, Mr Brock added.
“I’m delighted. Sheffield is a brilliant place to be. It does joined up thinking you don’t get in other cities. Sheffield Property Association and Sheffield City Council have been very helpful.”
The Pennine Centre was built between 1973 and 1975. The tallest block is 165ft and 13 storeys.
RBH Properties, based in Portsmouth, is privately-owned and operates throughout the United Kingdom. It snapped up the site for £18m from US-based Kennedy Wilson.