Tower Works Leeds: First look at completed £57m 'transformation' of build to rent flats at historic site

The practical construction of 245 new homes at the historic Tower Works scheme in Leeds city centre has been completed.

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Sitting alongside the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, the £57 million redevelopment scheme, which started in 2021, has been built by Sir Robert McAlpine on behalf of Ask Real Estate and Richardson in conjunction with Homes England, and aims to bring build to rent housing to Leeds.

Designed by Ryder Architects, Tower Works features two residential buildings with studio, one, two and three bedroom flats and duplexes as well as ground floor commercial spaces and public areas.

Tower Works will feature 245 new build to rent apartments in central Leeds. Picture by Legal & GeneralTower Works will feature 245 new build to rent apartments in central Leeds. Picture by Legal & General
Tower Works will feature 245 new build to rent apartments in central Leeds. Picture by Legal & General
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Commenting on the completion, Craig Allen, Sector Director of Sir Robert McAlpine, said: “Reaching practical completion at Tower Works represents a momentous milestone in the transformation of this historic site. 

“It presents a wonderful opportunity to honour the remarkable efforts of the entire project team, while also celebrating the local, social and economic impact of the project.”

The development has achieved WiredScore Platinum certification, which according to developers Legal & General (L&G) makes it the first residential development in Leeds to attain the globally-recognised verification of infrastructure connectivity. The accreditation confirms that the properties are digitally future-proofed and have the best possible level of connectivity.

Dan Batterton, Head of Residential at Legal & General Investment Management, added: “It’s fantastic to see the completion of Tower Works and open for our occupiers. 

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“Leeds is one of the UK’s largest cities in terms of population and economic output, yet supply of housing has been severely constrained over the past decade. 

“As the largest investor and owner of build to rent in the city, we’re delighted to deliver the neighbourhood of Mustard Wharf at Tower Works, and play our part in the landmark South Bank regeneration area.”

Tower Works was established in the 1860s as a steel pin factory for carding and combing in the textile industry and closed its doors in 1981. Today, the area is a thriving media and technology community is the South Bank regeneration area. 

It features the three original Italianate towers Verona, Giotto and Little Chimney, which forms a focal point on the area.

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With the apartment development now complete, L&G will market Tower Works, together with the adjacent site, as the neighbourhood of Mustard Wharf, featuring 500 homes and over 15,000 square feet of commercial space.

John Hughes of Ask Real Estate added: “We’ve worked in close partnership with our joint venture partner Richardson and our contractor Sir Robert McAlpine to achieve completion, taking a highly collaborative effort from the outset.  It’s a real achievement for the team to now mark the handover of this landmark residential scheme to L&G having overcome the multiple challenges of Covid, Brexit and rising construction costs.”

He continued: “During the delivery programme we have been proud to support the city by contributing to the annual Leeds Light Night event and we’re looking forward to seeing the first residents move in this month.”