West bar development recognised in crème de la crème of Property achievements in Yorkshire
West Bar Sheffield has been recognised by leading professionals in the Yorkshire property sector for exceptional skill in conception, design, and execution. The major regeneration project received a special award at the prestigious ‘The Yorkshires. Commercial Real Estate Awards 2023’ last night as a key ‘disruptor’ in commercial real estate over the last twelve months.
The Yorkshires (formerly The Yorkshire Property Awards) is the most highly regarded property event in the calendar, attended by over 1,000 property professionals. The annual awards at Rudding Park Hotel raises charitable funds to support The Yorkshire Children’s Charity.
Urbo (West Bar) Ltd, a joint venture between Urbo Regeneration and Peveril Securities, was commended alongside Sheffield City Council for completing a ground-breaking deal to secure £150 million funding from Legal & General.
This agreement represents the largest single city centre investment deal that Sheffield has ever seen and enables delivery of the first phase comprising 100,000 sq ft of Grade A office space offering the largest floorplates in the city and meeting significant ESG commitments. It will also deliver Soho Yard, 368 Build to Rent residential apartments to be owned and managed by L&G, alongside a 450 space multistorey car park within a high-quality public realm.
West Bar as a whole is a £300 million regeneration scheme on a 7-acre brownfield site on the Inner Ring Road between Sheffield’s Kelham Island, Cathedral and Castlegate Quarters in Sheffield city centre. It is to comprise one million sq ft of space including over 565,000 sq ft of office accommodation with amenity, public realm and over 525 apartments. The project expects to create up to 8,000 new jobs when completed.
The Yorkshire Disruptors Award celebrates regionally significant projects that move the market for everyone. West Bar was selected by judges as the crème de la crème of achievements in Yorkshire, making waves with a material effect on the surrounding environment.
Specifically, West Bar was commended for the unwavering commitment of the joint venture team who dedicated a huge amount of time and financial resource in putting the development together, evolving the masterplan and driving the design and assembly of a commercially viable site, despite difficult macroeconomic conditions.
Peter Swallow at Urbo (West Bar) Ltd, said,
“We are thrilled to receive this important recognition, which is testament to the conviction of all parties, working tirelessly over ten years to make the scheme commercial viable and deliverable.
“To complete this deal with the difficult economic headwinds was especially challenging but perhaps the biggest complexity has been the many years of site assembly work, negotiating with landowners and tenants of 103 separate property titles within the development boundary. We worked hard to secure alternative and improved premises for these occupiers such that zero jobs were lost through the process. This was backed by a full compulsory purchase process including a full CPO Public Inquiry and ultimately secured 100% freehold ownership with vacant possession, paving the way for our deal with Legal & General. This is a rare and excellent example of best practice approach to area-wide urban regeneration.”
The site is in the heart of the early industrial revolution in Sheffield, famous for its cutlery industry. Urbo successfully documented the archaeological heritage at the site working with South Yorkshire Archaeology Service, and worked closely with University of Sheffield and Kelham Island Museum to save the iconic neon ‘Woollens’ sign which will be on display at the museum to showcase the heritage of the site.
Completion of this landmark funding deal and the start of construction on the first phase, with completion expected in 2024, has established West Bar as a regionally important large-scale regeneration project for Sheffield. This was completed against the odds and after many years of careful work at a time of unprecedented economic challenge.