Construction starts on new city centre office building

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CONSTRUCTION has started on the next phase of a city centre office park in a further vote of confidence for Yorkshire’s commercial property market.

MEPC has pushed the button on 6 Wellington Place in Leeds in one of the city’s first speculative office developments for more than six years.

The cost of the project is undisclosed but MEPC chief executive James Dipple told the Yorkshire Evening Post it would be “tens of millions of pounds”.

The five-storey building, built by Shepherd Construction, will offer 104,000 sq ft of office and retail space.

With a prominent entrance on to Tower Square at the centre of the development, 6 Wellington Place will feature a floor to ceiling atrium, roof terrace, retail space and offices ranging from 3,500 sq ft to 19,600 sq ft.

MEPC expects to complete construction by the end of 2015. It follows the recent completion of the 35,000 sq ft 10 Wellington Place, occupied by law firm Shulmans and private bank Brown Shipley.

Mr Dipple said the decision to begin No 6 followed a increase in demand for new space but he denied that it was influenced by work starting on the nearby 220,000 sq ft Central Square building.

“We are confident enough to think we have got the best product on the market,” he said.

Mr Dipple said that the building would be ‘another game-changer’ for corporate workspace in Leeds.

He added that MEPC plans to bring forward other buildings within the one million sq ft Wellington Place masterplan in the coming months. “I don’t think the upturn in the market is a bubble,” he said. “It’s a normalisation of the market which has peaks and troughs. We have gone through a long period of stagnation but I see a much more stable environment going forward.”

He added: “Leeds is a robust city. We like locations where there are clearly definied sectors and clusters of companies or centres of excellence.

“Leeds is all about professional services and its a good location relative to London and the South East, which is good value and accessible.”

The agents for the scheme are JLL and DTZ.

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