Leeds City Council are hoping to attract high-rise offices, shops and a hotel to one of Leeds' largest empty sites.
They've put the old Leeds International Pool site on Lisbon Street up for sale - and are marketing it to developers interested in building mixed-use commercial, retail, leisure and hotel schemes.
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The 1.2-hectare site has a prime location in the heart of the business district and is currently used as a car park.
The Leeds International Pool was built in the 1960s and was a renowned example of the brutalist architecture that defined the period. It closed in 2007 and was demolished in 2009, having been vandalised numerous times while derelict. Leeds City Council had already replaced its facilities with the modern aquatics centre at the John Charles Centre for Sport and it was thought unlikely that a tenant would be found to run the pool complex privately.
Although designed to host international swimming competitions, the 50-metre pool was just centimetres short of Olympic length regulations, meaning major events could not be held there.
The building was supposed to be replaced by a skyscraper called The Spiracle, a 24-storey apartment block, but the proposals were abandoned following a downturn in the residential property market. Since 2010, the council have operated two surface car parks on the site.
The council are hoping to sell the land to a developer interested in building high-rise Grade A office space to complement nearby commercial developments such as Wellington Place.
In 2016, a group of homeless people occupied the site and formed a community called Tent City as part of a protest. A smaller group of rough sleepers set up a camp in the area in February.
Leeds City Council's director of city development Martin Farrington said:
“Leeds is a city that delivers, as shown by our ever-growing investment programme, which is one of the largest in the UK. We are determined to continue to bring the absolute best investors, operators and businesses here so that investment in Leeds not only boosts the economy but also helps create new and better jobs and offers opportunities for all in the city through inclusive growth.
“We are seeing a tremendous number of new schemes, developments and regeneration projects now progressing which is hugely attractive to major organisations looking to invest in our city. This Lisbon Street site occupies a prime position among many of the city’s top financial, legal and professional services employers within our core business district, which makes it a very desirable space and development opportunity. To meet the growing demand for Grade A office space in the city centre, we are pleased to announce our proposal to invite formal competitive bids for the site.”