This move follows the successful model of Block F, where American investors Angelo Gordon are leading the development of a high-quality residential scheme of 364 Build to Rent apartments.
Block F was sold by Sheffield City Council in earlier 2019 to a joint venture group made up of Angelo Gordon – a major US based global investment advisor – and Ridgeback Group. The group has employed Sheffield-based Brantingham Homes to manage the scheme, working with locally based Whittam Cox Architects and construction partner Henry Boot Construction Ltd.
Plans for the scheme took a step forward in May 2019, when a planning application was submitted to the council for the £50m Build to Rent building – named Kangaroo Works – located at the corner of Rockingham Street and Wellington Street. The development will deliver one, two- and three-bedroom apartments and up to five commercial spaces at ground level. The scheme’s unique name pays homage to a former tool factory that was part of the site in the early nineteenth century.
The scale of the development has been sensitively planned in response to other surrounding buildings, stepping down from 15 storeys at its highest point to eight and four storeys. The use of attractive brick as the primary material takes inspiration from Sheffield’s urban heritage. The scheme will provide the calibre of facilities and long-term management to encourage residents to stay and put down roots.
Heart of the City II has already attracted a number of high-profile international occupiers – including HSBC, CMS, Radisson Blu, Swedish fashion brands – Weekday and Monki, and local firms such as Marmadukes and recently New World Trading Company. Securing these occupiers for Sheffield means that the scheme is delivering on a key outcome of safeguarding jobs and creating new employment opportunities.
Conversations with John Lewis & Partners are also ongoing, and the Council is seeking authority from Cabinet next week to restructure the lease on their Barker’s Pool shop, which would facilitate its refurbishment.
Cabinet will also be asked to authorise the release of Block G to the private sector. The block is the former South Yorkshire Fire Authority Headquarters site – and now the Wellington Street surface level car park. Investors or developers will be asked to come forward with ideas for schemes that fit with the updated Heart of the City II masterplan.
“Our investment in Heart of the City II has established the opportunity for Sheffield to become a thriving commercial centre and to create jobs. The ongoing success of the scheme has built up the confidence of the private sector to invest in Sheffield.
“As a result, we have made the decision to release Block G of the wider masterplan to the market. This will reduce our borrowing requirements for the scheme from £470m to around £370m, which lowers the financial risk to the Council – a prudent approach during the current climate – while maintaining the ambitions of the scheme.
“We are also restating our commitments in the two key areas of carbon reduction and fair pay. This is all part of building a city centre that is fit for the future and supports our communities and environment to thrive.”Councillor Mazher Iqbal, Cabinet Member for Business and Investment, Sheffield City Council
The Heart of the City II scheme is not only unique through its Council-led approach and quality of occupier, but it’s also fundamental to Sheffield’s goal of becoming a zero-carbon city by 2030.
The new district will also work towards becoming a Real Living Wage Zone – acting as an exemplar for the city and will open the door to more meaningful negotiations and conversations with incoming and existing tenants about paying the Real Living Wage.