MEPC?s flagship schemes, which will create 2.7 million square feet of mixed uses to the immediate west of the city station, was granted outline planning permission on March the 1st. Known locally as the Aireside Centre, or simply MFI, the new development will herald a sea of change in the city in terms of quality, architecture, public space and sustainability. Architects Carey Jones, Fielden Clegg Bradley and Martha Schwartz are charged with designing a ?new bit of city? and the scale and prominence of the scheme will genuinely shift the city further to the West. A stunning scheme!
Rumours from Birmingham, Ray?s most northerly outlet, are strongly suggesting that he is soon to open a restaurant in Leeds, although we have not yet picked up any rumours at this end. We are of course short of celebrity restaurants in the city and since the rumours about an imminent Conran restaurant faded away a few years ago, there has been little prospect of anything happening. Perhaps it?s not the end of the world and we should stick to home grown talent instead!
From the 21st May this year, there will be 65 weekday GNER services to London, an increase from the 53 currently on offer. This will apparently provide 1.6m extra seats a year and provide a half hourly ?turn up and go? service. Jonathan Metcalfe, Chief Exec of GNER said:
?This means that from the 21st of May, Leeds will have a similar number of trains to and from London as other major Northern Cities such as Newcastle and Manchester?.
We?re getting there!
As expected, the City Council confirmed that it will be putting £20m into the Leeds arena project, either in cash, land or a combination of both. The aim is now to identify an operator for a 12,500 seat arena by the middle of this year and to go to the market to find a developer/funder in the summer. It has been agreed that the greatest economic benefit would be derived from a city centre scheme rather than one on the periphery and this would seem to exclude Elland Road, which conspiracy theorists say is the favourite!!
After years of having to nip to the garage on Hunslet Road for a pint of milk, the residents of Leeds city centre will soon be spoilt for choice for their simple convenience shopping. Not only have Tesco agreed to take units at Bridgewater Place and Clarence Dock, but we are also told that the Co-op have agreed terms on a second city centre store after the success of the one they opened late last year in West Point. As if that wasn?t enough to make you dizzy, Sainsbury?s have recently agreed to take 18,000 square feet in the former Alders department store on The Headrow. Good things come to those who wait!
The Gateway, Leeds, won the Resi Props best city centre development award in January and in celebration of this and in order to formally launch the scheme in, there will be a party in the Atrium of The Gateway North in early March. If you are interested in attending and finding out how you can buy an apartment in this award winning scheme with a full furniture package included, email firstname.lastname@example.org for your invitation.
The evening was a huge success and great fun- the Moulin Rouge theme, including a high energy floor show, caught the attention of the 450 guests, who were incredibly generous on the evening. The combination of ticket sales, the raffle and an auction, raised a staggering £90,000 for Variety Club in Yorkshire and this is a testament to the compassion and generosity of the residential property community in the region. A huge thank you to all our guests on the evening- we look forward to the Resi Props 2008.
Whilst the headlines today may have been focused on the fact that Manchester, a rank outsider, unexpectedly beat Blackpool and London to the Super-casino licence, it will be of more interest to local people that Leeds has been awarded a licence to operate a large casino. The leader of the city council, Andrew Carter said:
?Despite reservations we felt that it was important we took the opportunity to compete with other major cities for a slice of the huge regeneration potential a new casino could bring to Leeds. There is no doubt the casino complex will generate jobs, however we do not underestimate the possible social impact and we must focus on making sure vulnerable people are protected from any downsides.?
The large casino will have a minimum total customer area of 1,500 m², and be permitted up to 150 Category B gaming machines, with a maximum jackpot of £4,000. It will also be permitted to offer betting and bingo.
The borough of Leeds was officially founded 800 years ago and 2007 is ?Celebrate Leeds? year. There will be events throughout the year, including the ?Celebrate Leeds Awards Dinner? at the Town Hall on the 20th April.
The move to make Leeds a formal borough was commercially driven, allowing craftsmen to rent land for the first time and to sell their wares on the new Briggate market. We suspect that the rents may just have gone up a little in the meantime!!
It is no secret that Leeds is keen to secure a new casino complex and a major new report has concluded that such a facility would create over 700 new full time jobs. The ?Casino Impact Assessment Study? prepared by PMP looks specifically at the potential impact of a new casino complex on the city and concludes that whilst there would be significant economic benefits, there would also be some potential health and social costs that would have to be carefully managed.
Leeds will find out at the end of January whether or not it is to be awarded one of the 8 so called super casinos which are to be allowed nationally.
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