Work is well underway on a £4m investment to transform an outdated 1980s Leeds building into an iconic city centre office building.
The speculative redevelopment and refurbishment of 21 Queen Street is being carried out by Clegg Construction and is due for completion in August 2014.
The striking design has seen the contractor add two new floors to the existing structure in order to cater for requirements for Grade A office space ranging up to 37,500 sq ft. The existing façade has been uplifted by the installation of new curtain walling and a glass front elevation to give a sense of space and light.
Clegg Construction’s business development manager, John Dixon, said:
“It’s great to be involved with such an exciting design and renovation, that reflects new confidence in the Leeds office market. This project is a great example of how the right vision and imagination can give outdated buildings a completely new lease of life.”
Joint letting agent, Jonathan Shires of CBRE, says the building’s completion this summer will enable it to take advantage of a much improved office market for the city. He said:
“Choice is increasingly limited for new build Grade A space in Leeds following prolific take up in 2013.
“CBRE’s latest analysis* shows that demand for office space across the UK is at its highest level since 2008 with Leeds cited as the first city to see take-up levels return to pre-recession levels.
“Although sentiment remains cautiously optimistic in all sectors, the market is bracing itself for a chronic shortage of grade A / B+ stock, so we are anticipating high demand for the space at 21 Queen Street.”
The CBRE figures are backed by an upbeat assessment of the city’s office market by the Leeds Office Agents’ Forum which found a surge in occupier demand for office space in Leeds city centre and out of town last year resulted in the best take up figures for more than 15 years (February 2014).
Formerly known as Prince William House, the building now features flexible floor plates and a range of sustainable credentials, including rainwater harvesting, electric car charging and a BREEAM rating of “Very Good”.
The renovation follows similar successful projects by the developer, Formal Investments, in other cities.