New cafÃ© opening soon in Sheffield will give first taste of Â£175m development
A new cafÃ© opening soon in Sheffield city centre will give diners a taste of what to expect from an eagerly-awaited Â£175 million development.
Love Square pop-up park lies at the foot of Snig Hill, near the law courts, on the periphery of what will become West Bar Square - a 5.7-acre parcel of land where the investor Urbo has outline permission to build a huge collection of offices, homes, shops and restaurants, along with a four-star hotel.
The developer has now snapped up around 80 per cent of the land needed, and intends to submit detailed plans for approval by the end of this year, but a temporary café due to open shortly at Love Square will whet people's appetites for what lies in store.
Andy Dainty, director at Urbo Regeneration, said the developer is in talks with operators and the café should be open by summer.
The eco-friendly eatery will be made from a pair of recycled shipping containers, clad in timber, and will have a grass roof and walls designed to provide a breeding ground for insects and birds.
West Bar Square will mark the latest step in the ongoing transformation of what had for many years been a run-down quarter, cut off from the city centre by fast-moving traffic.
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Much progress has been made, with the Home Office and law firm Irwin Mitchell occupying new blocks along the banks of the River Don, and West Bar Square marks one of the last pieces of the jigsaw when it comes to linking the city centre with the thriving neighbourhood of Kelham Island.
As well as additional offices and homes, the planned development will include a new public square with a convenience store, cafés and more, explains Mr Dainty, bringing a sense of community to the once stagnant stretch.
"You already have all these people working here, with no amenities. This will give them and the new people living and working in West Bar Square somewhere to go at lunch and after work," he said.
"We will also be creating more direct routes to Kelham Island, making it better connected to the city centre.
"We're excited about the café opening soon, which will be the latest step in regenerating what was once considered the wrong side of the tracks."
Mr Dainty added that Urbo is already in talks with potential purchasers and occupiers for West Bar Square, which he said would help meet the demand from employers for larger office accommodation in the city centre.