Councillors approve plans for new Leeds city centre offices

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Construction of a new office and leisure development in the centre of Leeds will begin in the summer after plans were given the go-ahead by councillors.

Detailed planning consent has been secured by Roydhouse Properties for its proposed Central Square scheme.

The 1.5 acre site was acquired in August 2013 and the new owners quickly unveiled their plans for the construction of a new office building designed by architects DLA Design.

Construction is expected to complete in mid-2016.

The new building, between Wellington Street and Whitehall Road, will be 225,000 sq ft in size.

Offices will take up 201,730 sq ft over 11 floors and retail and leisure operators will take up 19,500 sq ft on the ground floor within a landscaped winter garden.

A 9,800 sq ft sky garden with views of the city will be available for tenants to use on the 9th floor level.

Mark Barnes of Marrico, asset manager to Roydhouse Properties, said: “We are delighted the scheme received unanimous support from council members; this is a significant step forward for Central Square.

“We are committed to progressing the scheme, which on completion, will offer the largest available floorplate in the city.”

Richard Thornton, of property agent JLL, added: “We are confident Central Square’s design will play a very important role in contributing to the city’s evolving skyline.

“Without a doubt this will be the most iconic building in Leeds for number of years and we are currently in talks with a number of interested occupiers.”

The building will also include restaurants, bars, a gym and 128 car parking spaces.

The site once housed the city’s historic main railway station. More recently, it was home to Royal Mail on one side, and the Wellesley Hotel on the other.

Marrico Asset Management was formed by Mark Barnes, former development partner at King Sturge in Leeds, Colin Fell, former Jones Lang LaSalle regional chairman, and Richard Bland, a former senior banker with RBS in Leeds.

The firm invests in development opportunities for a consortium of investors with substantial financial backing.

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