Developer Urbo wants to build an eight-storey block with shops on the ground floor and a roof terrace. It would be between Corporation Street and a new, landscaped open space called West Bar Square.
The apartments, facing Bridge Street, will be upmarket ‘build-to-rent’ in two blocks aimed at long-term occupation by professionals.
They will face new spaces called ‘Soho Yard’ and ‘Soho Gardens’ off Plum Lane. It is the site of the famous ‘Soho Wheel’ that powered cutlery grinding machinery near the River Don after the industrial revolution.
Peter Swallow Urbo managing director, said the new office, No.1 West Bar Square, would reflect its ‘status as a gateway to the wider project’.
Urbo has been working on the project for years. It hopes to eventually create a £300m scheme between Bridge Street and Corporation Street including five office blocks that could create 6,000 jobs.
The first two buildings are being funded by insurer Legal & General.
Nigel Wilson, CEO of Legal & General, said: “There has never been a more important time to invest in our regional cities, build back better and support new job creation…. Our vision for West Bar is to deliver a much-needed new quarter for the centre of Sheffield, delivering on the city’s housing, jobs and regeneration needs.”
Now plans are being drawn up for a second Legal & General-funded office, alongside a further application for a 450-space multi storey car park.
The area is already home to the Home Office, law firm Irwin Mitchell and the Crown and Family Courts and is close to trendy Kelham Island.
Urbo was granted outline planning consent in 2017. In 2019 it was granted a Compulsory Purchase Order to complete ‘assembly of site’. Several firms have since moved, or are planning to move.
Mr Swallow added: “The site is now fully assembled and ready for work to commence.”
They expected to start on site later this year, he added.
Mr Wilson added: “Legal & General is committed to investing in Sheffield and to supporting its post-crisis growth ambitions, where it recognises the high potential the city has to offer.”