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Old May 10th, 2008, 02:08 PM   #1
Rob
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Leeds Met Uni - City Campus - redevelopment

These proposals are probably progressed enough to merit their own thread.

The site
Bounded by: Inner Ring Road to the north, Woodhouse Lane to the east, Calverley Street and Portland Way to the south. Currently the site of the four '60s towers up to 13 storeys and the newly refurbished low rise library and surrounding buildings to the east of the site.

The proposal

- Keeping the new/refurbished buildings (library etc) to the east of the site
- Buildings around courtyard layouts, 4 - 11 stories high with a glazed atrium and central square
- a 30 storey tower near the centre of the site
- a 20 storey tower near the centre of the site
- a 20 storey tower in the northern corner of the site



Developer

Modus Properties, in conjunction with Leeds Metropolitan University
Modus Properties

Progress

The initial proposals have been presented to the City Centre Planning panel on 27th March 2008.
See planning report, starting on page 151-154 of: - http://www.leeds.gov.uk/moderngov/Published/C00000173/M00003021/$$ADocPackPublic.pdf

Recent report in PropertyWeek.com: -

'Developer Modus plans a £300m tie-up with Leeds Metropolitan University.

There are Office and retail schemes aplenty in Leeds. Its office quarter will introduce 400,000 sq ft at Broadgate, the Mint and Latitude Red later this year and more than 2m sq ft of shops in the Eastgate Quarter and Trinity Leeds are well on the way. In a shift of focus, developer modus wants to diversify this market by developing a 1m sq ft education-led, business and mixed-use development with its joint venture partner, Rushcliffe Properties. The vision aims to bring together a new £300m ‘learning quarter’ for the city that will put further and higher education institutions alongside offices, retail and leisure. Modus plans to submit its proposals to the council this summer.

Learning quarter

Modus bought the 6.5 acre site for an undisclosed sum from Leeds Metropolitan University last year. With the Metropolitan University, Leeds College of Technology and Leeds University all in close proximity, it is well placed to form the centre of the proposed learning quarter. ‘A lot of our buildings, even if we refurbished them, wouldn’t create modern vibrant learning spaces. So rather than invest in refurbishing something that will only ever be a “make-do”, we looked at a whole host of options and one of them was to sell that site, which we did to Modus,’ says Sue Holmes, head of estates at Leeds Metropolitan University. The scheme will comprise 400,000 sq ft of offices for businesses that will have ties to the educational institutions, together with a five-star hotel, student accommodation and educational buildings for Leeds Metropolitan University. Modus will fund these buildings, which will total nearly 54,000 sq ft of the scheme, as part of a project for the university. ‘We formed a relationship with Leeds Metropolitan and we have structured a deal that enables them to realise their ongoing estates strategy,’ says David Skidmore, director at Modus. ‘Our involvement has enabled them to accelerate their ongoing developments elsewhere.’ But he is still keen to affiliate the partnership with the education quarter in the new development, highlighting it as a vital part of the project and the company’s future, especially as they hope to add similar projects to their portfolio in the coming year. ‘Something we want to really drive forward is a partnership with the higher education establishments in Leeds and with Leeds City Council,’ says Skidmore. ‘What ties all the developments together is that it is very heavily focused on extending the city outwards. There will be four or five new public squares with supporting retail and leisure ancillaries.’

Breath of air

Branded ‘the Civic Quarter’, there is confidence that this new type of development will be a welcome breath of fresh air in the compact city centre. ‘What Leeds Metropolitan University themselves are trying to do is put certain parts of the university into the relevant parts of the city. They have the opportunity to move their business schools out into the business quarter,’ says Adam Cockroft, director of offices at DTZ, who are joint agents for the scheme. ‘The fact you have got a good proportion of degree courses at the universities means a lot of them will be focused around business and health, and a lot of employers will see an immediate pool of labour to draw on. Effectively there will be graduates from that locality that will want to stay there,’ he says. “We looked at a whole host of options and one of them was to sell the site”


Sue Holmes, Leeds Metropolitan University

Making the grade

There is currently no grade A office space on the market in Leeds, which means occupiers are limited in their choices. But the Civic Quarter’s focus on education could count against it, as it would not necessarily be the first choice for accountants or law firms – the ‘usual culprits’ desperate for office space in the city. ‘In terms of occupiers, we are looking at the education sector, including Leeds Metropolitan University,’ says Cockroft. ‘To a certain extent we are aiming for specific operators but at the same time we are not going to turn anyone away. ‘Traditionally there hasn’t been a huge raft of grade A speculative build in this area, which is north of the Headrow [the street on the northern boundary of the city’s pedestrianised centre]. This particularly offers the public sector, government and civic occupiers a real chance to go into a scheme that is in the public realm, right in the heart of the civic quarter and that’s not been available before.’ However, this does not necessarily mean it is not in competition with the schemes that are due to come to the market this year and next. ‘There is always going to be competition to an extent because you are going to have floor space, irrespective of where it’s located,’ says Cockroft. ‘But it will attract a certain type of occupier, which may not have gone to other schemes in the city. ‘However, I think it’s unlikely we’re going to get a top FTSE 100 company in our scheme.’ Paul Fairhurst, director at Savills, says the success of the scheme will be dependent on this shift towards educational angles. ‘Although it is further north than the traditional heart of the city, it will be interesting to see how it pans out given its links to the institutions, and the fact it will be a new business quarter for the city.’ Rents could also provide a huge draw for the Civic Quarter, says Cockroft. Whereas top rents in Leeds are around £27/sq ft-£28/sq ft, the rental difference between that and the Civic Quarter could be as much as £4/sq ft. ‘The land values here are slightly lower, and it is in a less of an established office location, but still one that is appealing to certain occupiers,’ he says. At present, the site has effectively been cleared. Only a handful of buildings belonging to Leeds Metropolitan University remain. The plans place the university as a tenant within the first phases. The hotel and commercial buildings will follow alongside a development framework for the whole site. Modus has secured funding for the first phase of the project, the acquisition of the Leeds Metropolitan University-owned land from Bank of Scotland Corporate, although there are ongoing funding strategies being formulated for the next stage of the development, says Skidmore. ‘The context is the most important thing,’ he says. ‘Proximity to the Civic Quarter of the city, Leeds General Infirmary and access to the prime retail core bring all the requirements to enable all these commercial components to be realised.’


PropertyWeek.com, 2 May 08
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Last edited by Rob; May 15th, 2008 at 10:16 AM. Reason: Link to Modus Properties website corrected
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Old May 10th, 2008, 02:33 PM   #2
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Grade A offices, Love it!
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Old May 10th, 2008, 02:35 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob View Post
- a 30 storey tower near the centre of the site
- a 20 storey tower near the centre of the site
- a 20 storey tower in the northern corner of the site
Great news Rob. Are these towers all offices /lecture theatures / labs etc as opposed to residential? Would it be above 100m tall for the 30 storey tower and would that make it the tallest educational building in the UK?

It would certainly add to the cluster at the top end of the city centre. So is there any time frame for when this scheme will take place as it would be such a major project and nice to see especially as it would surely create an all new quarter that is definately seen as part of the city centre. How much of the existing campus will be retained? Will it just be the one tower which was recladded in the 1990s and the library / students union which lies adjacent? Anyway for the point of this thread here are some pics of the site at present.

image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr
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Old May 10th, 2008, 04:33 PM   #4
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Great article. This part of town could become rather exciting.
I know Sheffield Hallam have done a great job in putting new buildings and spaces into central Sheffield, it will be good to see the Met finally doing the same. Actually, i was really impressed with the Leslie Silver building on a recent visit. Someone i know got a job at the Met recently and some people down here were slagging it off a bit, but locally i think it gives off a very progressive, forward-looking vybe (obviously i didn't make any headway trying to convince them of this). The second tier Unis realise they will never compete with the top-ranking ones in terms of prestige so they're going for degrees which offer a high chance of getting job at the end of them. Zoning the faculties is an excellent idea in this respect.
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Old May 10th, 2008, 04:45 PM   #5
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anyone know what actual land they are talking about that will house these new towers? Because the existing area where the exiiting university talls are located is already "full".. so unless they are going to be nocking down the old talls then where are they gonna fit these?
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Old May 10th, 2008, 05:16 PM   #6
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Don't forget they've already demolished the low rise block and the tennis ball render is just that, so plenty of space there.

I like the tower closest to the A & E entrance (the clearest one in the first picture).
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Old May 10th, 2008, 11:28 PM   #7
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Great proposal. The current Leeds Met uni buildings are dreadful. Most of my lectures are in them. There so confusing to get round I still get lost and I've been there 2 years.
We studied one of the blocks for Building Pathology and there are so many defects such as damp, a leaking roof, condensation and a problem with the concrete cladding. If you look at one of the blocks some of the concrete has been patched up to try and resolve it.
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Old May 14th, 2008, 06:07 PM   #8
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Im glad this has got its own thread now, but the link to the website doesnt seem to be working so im dying to see renders, but, i cant! Its gonna be one of the most important developements for the city in future years i think.
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Old May 14th, 2008, 06:38 PM   #9
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After a quick look, I can't find anything on the Modus website yet which refers to this development. Perhaps someone else will have more success.

Anyway, if the link above didn't work, see if this is any better:
http://www.modusproperties.co.uk/home.htm
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Old June 26th, 2008, 12:14 AM   #10
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Passed the site opposite the Rose Bowl on the main campus which has had hoardings around for some time, and noticed that a number had been removed.

Could this be the start of the new Met Uni project with some 30/20 storey tasty skyscrapers about to kick off construction in the near future?
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Old June 26th, 2008, 01:50 PM   #11
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Yeah i nticed that too, but to me it looked like those hoardings opposite the Rosebowl had been knocked down as they were still on the floor, hopefully not though, i should be off into town today to do some photo snapping! We'll see better then.
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Old June 26th, 2008, 01:56 PM   #12
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I was in town on Monday and the hoardings were only partially up around that site. Didn't think much of it though...
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Old June 26th, 2008, 02:44 PM   #13
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It's mentioned briefly in the latest Leeds Council Business Bulletin under the infrastructure section. There won't be much action yet as they've not submitted full planning applications. But there should be a good chance of this proceeding as none of it seems to be 'open' residential element to it, ie the residential element is student accomodation, which is clearly doing well at the moment.
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Old July 4th, 2008, 09:02 PM   #14
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Lots of activity on site today. Look like some serious will be starting very soon
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Old July 5th, 2008, 12:46 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skychaser 2005 View Post
and at Leeds Met Uni, a hive of activity has started on the new site in front of the exsisting city campus with lots of digging/excavation.
Is this the George Mitchell Centre of Conflict Resolution. If so great news that this vacant plot has comenced development. When will it be completed and are there any renders for how it will actually look yet (I somehow doubt it would be that sphere originally proposed) and how tall will it be?
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Old July 5th, 2008, 05:09 PM   #16
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They can't be building yet as they've not got planning approval for any of the site yet, although they could be doing some advanced ground works in full confidence of proceeding in the not too distant future.
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Old July 5th, 2008, 08:05 PM   #17
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I didn't see anything new going on, on this site when I walked past today (if we're talking about the one opposite the Rose Bowl?)
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Old August 26th, 2008, 07:03 PM   #18
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any updates for the senator george mitchell centre for peace and conflict resolution building?
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Old August 27th, 2008, 04:51 AM   #19
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image hosted on flickr


This should be put here
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Old August 27th, 2008, 07:17 PM   #20
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Is this goin to be built??
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