Turning a building with no right angles into grade-A office space is a challenge that might put off some developers.
But the potential of Steel City House, off West Street, made the decision to acquire the building an easy one for Scott’s Developments.
Working with contractor Clay Construction, the firm is now about a year into the £10 million project. The building has been gutted, the top floor removed and the internal courtyard opened up.
The aim is to create high quality office space which Sheffield is sorely lacking, according to Scott’s managing director John Scotting.
“When we took it on it was not fit for purpose,” he said. “It didn’t tick a single box in terms of being able to have anyone occupy it.
“The air con system was illegal, there was no disabled access. It needed a total revamp.”
It would have been easier - and cheaper - to simply upgrade the fittings and fixtures. But Scott’s wanted to do better.
“We thought we might as well go the whole hog and make it something special,” said Mr Scotting.
The old lift has been ripped out to make way for a new one, and the central courtyard - an external area with grey, uninspiring walls - is being turned into a spacious central atrium.
The biggest challenge so far has been dropping into place the steel bridges that will cross that atrium.
The developer had to close part of Pinfold Street to make way for the crane. The driver then had to rely on cameras to drop the bridges, each weighing a couple of tonnes, delicately into place.
“It was fantastic to see them going in,” said Mr Scotting.
“Some contractors thought we would have to have the crane in the middle of the building. But we managed to get the road outside blocked off.
“I found it amazing that you had someone sitting outside in the crane cab doing it all though cameras.”
Once complete in summer next year, Steel City House should be among the top offices in the city.
A 3D video fly-through shows spacious, light offices with modern fittings, communal and canteen areas for staff and excellent access to all floors.
The most sought-after floors will be the two new ones at the top. Floor six, with glass all the way round, will look out across Sheffield. And the view from the new outdoor terrace will be among the best in the city centre.
“Everyone these days is looking for modern office space, but it’s only really in London where you have that grand old building with grade-A offices,” said Mr Scotting.
“We are talking to a number of people - the only problem we have had is timing.
“People are looking to do things quicker than we would like.
“Once it’s done and people are walking into a completed project, it will be a lot easier.
“We think the timing is right for this kind of development.”
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