The department store is going under the hammer with Allsop on Thursday, May 12 with a guide price of £4.5m – £5m.
The building is on a 99-year lease from September 1965, with 42 years remaining, at a fixed ground rent of £12,500 a year.
But crucially the lot is in a ‘residential auction’ – giving an indication of its likely future use.
Debenhams closed on May 15 last year. It was among 118 shut down by administrators with the loss of 12,000 jobs.
It has obtained ‘pre-app advice’ from Sheffield City Council broadly welcoming a change of use.
Council planners have given a provisional thumbs-up to 'demolition and redevelopment to comprise two buildings of approximately 22 and 34 storeys for mixed-use retail, food and beverage, leisure, residential, office, hotel and public realm’.
In a letter to MHA, Eleanor Ridge, the council’s principal planning officer development management, states: “I can confirm that we are broadly in agreement with the summary provided.”
She adds: “We agree with the summary that there is scope on the site for a tall building and that there is local precedent - but that it will be necessary to test this impact on medium and longer distance views.
“It is also agreed that it is necessary to test the environmental impacts of the proposed tall buildings on matters such as daylight/sunlight and wind/microclimate to ensure that the resulting environment is satisfactory.
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“We would support the proposed review of the building form, footprint, the character areas of the city and the impact upon local heritage assets as part of the design development.
“We also welcome a greater articulation of the design drivers as they are refined and considered as part of the process, following on from our discussions in the meeting.”
The advice is not planning permission.
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Last month a spokesman for MHA said: “We have decided to take our leasehold interest of the former Debenhams department store in Sheffield City Centre to the market.
“We feel the asset may benefit from a strategic investor who could potentially unlock and deliver a substantial redevelopment of the site.”