Plans are being drawn up for the next phase of Sheffield’s Heart of the City II redevelopment – a £50 million block of more than 340 apartments.
Kangaroo Works will feature a mix of ‘high quality’ homes to rent and buy, and is to be built at the corner of Rockingham Street and Wellington Street close to Devonshire Green. Its name references a former tool factory that stood on the site in the early 19th century.
Sheffield Council, which is driving Heart of the City II, has exchanged contracts to sell the land to a joint venture company made up of Angelo Gordon, a US firm, and Ridgeback Group, a British concern.
The site contains a surface car park but is largely cleared. A planning application for the building – known as ‘block F’ in the Heart of the City II masterplan published last year – is to be lodged within the next few months and work could begin by the end of 2019.
Applications were recently submitted for blocks B and C – shops, offices and flats at two buildings, Laycock House and the Pepper Pot, on Pinstone Street – whilst Grosvenor House, a new 140,000 sq ft base for HSBC with accompanying offices and retail space, is rapidly nearing completion in a reshaped Charter Square, which is due to open this spring.
Selling the land for Kangaroo Works means the council will not have to act as the sole developer on Heart of the City II. The £500 million regeneration project – formerly known as the Sheffield Retail Quarter – is the successor to Sevenstone, the shopping scheme that stalled during the recession and was dropped six years ago. The first Heart of the City brought the Winter Garden, Millennium Gallery, Peace Gardens and the offices of St Paul's Place. After parting ways with Sevenstone's developer Hammerson, the council opted to go it alone – offering a mix of uses, rather than solely shops, is now the chosen approach as the high street falters.
Angelo Gordon is a global investment adviser founded in 1988 which manages around $32 billion worth of assets. It has significant experience in the build-to-rent sector, having owned and operated over 50,000 residential units in the USA and 5,000 in Europe.
Ridgeback Group, meanwhile, is a residential investor and operator owned by Duncan Walker and George Bossom.
This will be the joint venture’s first major build-to-rent development in the UK, with Sheffield seen as a forerunner to further investments.
Sheffield contractor Henry Boot Construction has been hired to build Kangaroo Works which will be designed by Whittam Cox Architects. The scheme will be overseen by Brantingham Homes, a niche residential developer also based in Sheffield.
The site was once occupied by Robert Sorby and Sons, an edge tool manufacturer. His trade mark was a kangaroo which was carved over the main works entrance, hence the name.
Coun Mazher Iqbal, cabinet member for business and investment at Sheffield Council, said: “We are committed to developing a city centre that is a hub of high-skill, high-wage jobs and opportunities for the people of Sheffield and beyond, that gives people the vibrant and modern leisure, retail and social experiences that you would expect of a leading city the size of Sheffield, with new homes too.
“This is a great start to the new year and a fantastic vote of confidence in Sheffield. We need new homes of all types and these high-quality homes for rent and for sale fit with our strategy of widening the mix in the city centre."
Ridgeback Group’s Duncan Walker said: “We are delighted to have secured this site in joint venture with Angelo Gordon for our first UK build-to-rent investment. We recognise that Sheffield has strong demand for high-quality homes to rent as its economy continues to grow.”
And Michael Crooks, of Brantingham Homes, said: “I’m excited to be appointed on this project having watched the progress that has been made with Heart of the City II in recent years. This is a perfect location and we have assembled a first-class local team to deliver a development that we and Sheffield can be proud of.”