Coun Mazher Iqbal wants to see the enormous office - Sheffield’s largest - turned into housing for individuals and families.
The executive member for regeneration spoke out after the authority suggested it could be converted - or flattened - as part of a plan to dramatically increase the number of residents in the area. It is currently home to city council staff.
The ambition is to have 20,000 more ‘homes’ in the city centre to bring back ’vitality and vibrancy’. More residents could bring back the buzz after a record number of shop closures due to online shopping and the pandemic, it is hoped.
The Moorfoot area is set to be targeted at young professionals and promoted as a ‘prime location for city core living’.
It is already home to thousands of new flats by private developers in the zone between Moore Street, Fitzwilliam Street and Hanover Way - dubbed Mesters’ Village - and near Decathlon on Sylvester Street.
Meanwhile, the council is paying for a new office block in the £150m West Bar scheme.
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Coun Iqbal said decisions about Moorfoot would be informed by a review of all the authority’s office space, due in summer.
He added: “Personally, I’d like to see individuals and families living there, it’s unique and could provide much-needed homes.
“I’m also mindful of our net zero target by 2030, so I wouldn’t want to see it knocked down.”
The stepped pyramid, red-brick building is a landmark between the bottom of The Moor and St Mary’s Gate.
It was built in 1981 and occupied for years by the Manpower Services Commission and then the Civil Service.
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Developer Capital & Centric came up with the idea of a ‘Mesters’ Village’ based around Milton Street where it is converting the historic former Eyewitness cutlery works into flats. The area could have 2,500 flats and houses, maker spaces, cafés, bars, delis and a school, it is hoped. Already, a giant 864-unit development for students called Cosmos now stands on the corner of Fitzwiliam Street and Moore Street.
Meanwhile, a £75m complex of upmarket flats is taking shape on Sylvester Street near Decathlon. Its striking girder construction is very visible from St Mary’s roundabout.
The 335-apartment platform_ scheme is scheduled for completion in 2023.