Sheffield office block plan back on track as businesses look to life after the pandemic
Plans for a multi-million pound office in Sheffield city centre are back on track as businesses prepare for life after the pandemic.
Kevin McCabe’s Scarborough Group is set to start construction of the building on Sheaf Street within weeks.
Agents say they are talking to six interested parties although none have signed up yet.
Planning permission for the block was obtained in 2016 and bosses at Scarborough said they were talking to a potential occupier for the entire building two years ago.
The project then went quiet - until now. Previously called Vidrio, it has been renamed Endeavour. It will be the fourth and final building in the Digital Campus between Sheaf Street and the bus station.
Tim Bottrill, of commercial agents Colloco, said despite widespread working from home over the last year, companies still wanted an office as a place to motivate and unite staff. But most anticipated workers coming in only three or four times a week.
He added: “Offices are a way to motivate people and look after them properly. It has a social element and is a way to attract and retain staff. They’re also the best way to collaborate.
“It’s likely firms will want to give staff more space per person than they did and break-out spaces will be more important. The ‘water cooler’ moments which you don’t get on Zoom, where all the formality disappears, are important for a lot of businesses.”
Construction is set to start this quarter and could be finished in 18 months, he added.
It is being paid for by Scarborough, a pension fund and Singapore-based fund Metro which contributed to other buildings on the campus. No public cash is involved.
Mr Bottrill added: “It shows Sheffield is still a viable destination for property investors and business occupiers. And the Digital Campus has the best transport links of any office in the city.”
It is within the city council’s £1.5bn Sheaf Valley Development area which could see the closure of Sheaf Street to traffic and the dual carriageway moved behind the station and swap places with the tram track.