British Land, which co-owns the mega-mall, has submitted a planning application for logistics buildings on its River Don District site.
If approved by Sheffield City Council, it would be the first of three phases of a development that could employ 2,000. The company already has outline planning consent.
The land, to the south of Meadowhall, was previously used for steel works, rivet and brass works, brick and tile works and railway land but has since been cleared ready for redevelopment.
The move comes as online shopping booms, sparking increasing demand for warehouses.
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Paul Case, development director at British Land, said: “The submission of this reserved matters application is the first step in the overall strategy to deliver a modern, market leading logistics development at Meadowhall.
“Located three miles north of Sheffield city centre and close to J34 of the M1 motorway, the site is positioned in a key strategic location.”
“The plans are part of British Land’s strategy to increase exposure to growth sectors including urban logistics and recycle capital from recent sales to build an urban logistics platform through a combination of acquisitions and development opportunities in its existing portfolio.”
Plans for a ‘leisure’ extension at Meadowhall were announced in 2016 but have been downgraded and repeatedly delayed since. Last year three large stores closed: Debenhams, a combined Topshop and Topman and a Miss Selfridge. They remain empty, despite British Land saying in September there was ‘encouraging interest’ in them.
Despite this, 25 shops opened in 2021, the company says.