Unused upper floors on Fargate and High Street are set to be converted or revamped to create flats, offices and even a hotel, the Star can reveal.
Using government, private sector and mayoral cash, it is the biggest intervention for a generation and comes after years of decline due to internet shopping and the pandemic.
The provisional list includes:
Central Buildings, the white office block which replaced the famous Cole Brothers shop, is earmarked for a huge revamp after standing empty for yearsAt the top of Fargate, Orchard House, which has Virgin Money on the ground floor, is also set for an office upgrade‘Fargate Evolve’ could see existing flats converted into prestigious serviced apartments with a reception deskThe former Topman is being converted into a four-storey office with ground floor reception. A £900,000 grant from the taxpayer helped make the £6.5m scheme ‘viable’.26-28 High Street, a former building society next to Max Spielmann, is earmarked as a hotelFormer shops in Orchard Square are set to be turned into flats. A £750,000 grant is set to go to London & Associated Properties to convert disused space and improve the ‘public realm’.
These ‘Front Door’ schemes, which aim to reuse space and create prominent entrances, are set to cost £31.1m.
WHAT OTHER PROJECTS WILL BENEFIT FARGATE?
But there are other multi-million projects in the pipeline too.
Last week, The Star revealed Sheffield City Council plans to buy two buildings, the former New Look on Fargate and 26-28 High Street for £2.4m.
The plan is to ‘white box’ them - strip them out so they are ready for a new occupier to install what they need.
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A report states the funding will also cover preliminary survey work and all legal and planning fees associated with the acquisitions.
The authority has put in a bid to the South Yorkshire mayor’s office.
WHAT’S THE BIGGEST AND MOST EXPENSIVE PROJECT?
The eighth building is ‘Events Central’ opposite Marks & Spencer.
Sheffield City Council bought the building at 20-26 Fargate to convert it into a six-storey flagship for the creative sector.
The acquisition and revamp will consume a ‘sizeable’ chunk of the £15.8m the authority won from the Future High Streets Fund to improve Fargate and High Street.
A report to the mayor’s office states: Mayoral Combined Authority funds will be used for access and refurbishment works to buildings.
‘This will be done through capital grants to the private sector to address the financial viability of schemes.
‘It is anticipated that this will be utilised for construction and fit-out of the newly accessible spaces’.
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The overall aim is to ‘repurpose’ Fargate as an ‘events and cultural setting’ and bring people back.
As well as Events Central, the top of Fargate will be ‘reconfigured’ to provide space for major international events, with modern power and utilities.
Meanwhile, new ‘public realm’ works in High Street and its historic side streets ‘will deter crime and create sociable spaces’.