A beach in Leeds?

‘The banks of the River Aire in the centre of Leeds will be transformed into a public area featuring a sandy beach, volleyball courts and seating areas.
The plans by developer MEPC for its flagship Wellington Place project will see Leeds as the only UK inland city to boast a beach similar to the one on the banks of the River Seine in Paris.
MEPC has already submitted plans for the project to the city council and it also wants to create an outdoor sculpture area on the site boasting giant furniture.?

Source- Yorkshire Post.

New store for Louis Vuitton

Luxury brand Louis Vuitton, at home in the world?s grandest boulevards like the Champs Elysees in Paris and Fifth Avenue in New York, has opened its doors in Leeds? Victoria Quarter.

The store was launched at a gala cocktail party attended by the city?s business leaders, socialites and representatives of the art world.

?The opening of the store marks and important milestone,? said Susan Whiteley, managing director of Louis Vuitton UK. ?This address is the perfect location to represent our savoir faire and travel spirit.

?In fact, Louis Vuitton and Leeds are similar in that they are both steeped in tradition, while at the same time embracing modernity and the future.?

An Arena around the corner for Leeds?

The Executive Board of Leeds City Council is today discussing a paper by consultants PMP which says that an arena in Leeds is the best option for the region. The report is expected to recommend that the city council puts together a public contribution of around £20m but will not go on to specifically recommend one site, preferring to leave this to the operator who is chosen.

It is also thought that a temporary venue will be recommended in an attempt to ensure that the process of putting Leeds on the arena map can begin sooner rather than later.

Leeds Shopping Plaza

Leeds Shopping Plaza is to team up with the Trinity Quarter to create a 1 million square foot covered shopping centre which will transform the heart of Leeds, under new proposals put forward by property company Land Securities.

Land Securities told the Yorkshire Post that it would like to create the first regional shopping centre in the middle of a city.

Land Securities is teaming up with the Universities Superannuation Scheme, which owns the Trinity Quarter, to create a new identity for the city centre.

“Our aim is to create a strong, single retail focal point in the heart of the city, helping Leeds ? which has 2.2 million people living within 30 minutes’ drive time ? to reach its full regional potential,” said Land Securities’ regional director Gerald Jennings. “The city centre is presently served by six centres, but has no focal point and also has a shortage of modern retail units,” he added.

Leeds Bradford Airport

Leeds Bradford Airport has gone up for sale recently- jointly owned by 6 of the region?s local authorities, the airport notoriously lacks a train link and yet has seen passenger numbers to continue to grow in recent years. LBA itself reported ?sizzling? summer passenger figures.

?Summer 2006 has proved the most popular on record at Leeds Bradford International Airport (LBA), as a record breaking 1,947,437 passengers passed through the terminal building between April and October, representing a 9.7% increase on the same period last year.?

Leeds City Council has intimated that its share of the eventual spoils may go towards funding a concert hall for the city- watch this space!!

Eastgate Quarter

Developers Hammerson PLC and Town Centre Securities have submitted a planning application for their Eastgate Quarter scheme which will transform the area from the open markets, across to Millgarth Police Station, north across Eastgate and all the way to the A64. The scheme will include a John Lewis anchor store- allegedly with a food hall- 4 further large stores and around 80 smaller stores. This will increase the retail offer in Leeds by around 25-30% and create 6-7,000 jobs. If everything goes to plan, John Lewis will open for business for Christmas 2011!!

Holbeck Urban Village

Having somewhat surprisingly stepped in to buy Tower Works on Water Lane, Yorkshire Forward have now shortlisted 6 developers and their teams to submit proposals for a new scheme which must have at it?s heart the principles of sustainability and high quality exemplary design. This landmark site, which features the famous Italianate towers, looks set to have an exciting future with the emphasis being on mixed uses to include education, offices, residential, high quality public realm, and active ground floors. Watch this space!

120 metres up!

Having taken a silly bet in March from Kevin Linfoot, Jonathan Morgan, Simon Gawthorpe from Urban Splash, and Kim Mead from KW Linfoot, climbed the 120 metre tower crane at Bridgewater Place on July 2nd. Having been through two health and safety briefings and issued with helmet, overalls and gloves, it was somewhat ironic to see that they were un-harnessed, climbing up an open sided tower.

Says Jonathan: ?Not content with taking us for a walk along the jib, our friendly crane driver then offered us all ?a drive?. Joking aside, it was an amazing experience and our feat ensured that Kevin will now pay for the Barnardos Children’s Party at Harewood House in November.?
Thanks Kevin!

Urban Splash

The darlings of the world of urban regeneration are finally coming to Leeds. The submission of their planning application to redevelop two derelict council buildings on the Saxton Garden estate on the east of the city centre is sure to create waves. Everywhere they have gone, Urban Splash have worked hard at challenging convention and creating new communities with new heart in areas where mainstream developers are simply not prepared.

The refurbished buildings will uniquely sit in around 4 acres of landscaped grounds which are to include new allotments, and a high parking ratio. Having already almost single handedly changed the fortunes of areas such as Langworthy Park in Salford, the Card Room Estate in New East Manchester and the Castlefield/Hulme areas of Manchester, they have an unwavering determination to stick to their principles of high quality design and it seems certain that they will create a fantastic new living environment at The Drive and Parade in Leeds.

Residential Investment Fund

One of the country?s first specialist residential investment funds is being launched right here in Leeds by Armstrong Watson Chartered Accountants. There was widespread dismay when Gordon Brown signalled a dramatic U Turn in his budget this year. Many people had expected regulations to change on ?A day? in order that a more diverse range of investments could be purchased with pension fund monies.
Whilst it was made clear that investment would be allowed through a genuinely diverse vehicle, it was some time before this was clarified. Armstrong Watson have been one of the first to react to the clarified regulations and are working with asset managers, Vista, in creating a bespoke locally focused fund which will offer investors a unique opportunity to enter niche residential markets with the added attraction of tax benefits.