Tower Works

Those of you who travel into Leeds by train will long have wondered about the towers of Holbeck. Built in grand style by one of the city’s pioneers, Thomas Harding, in the hay-day of the industrial revolution, they have more recently fallen into decline, standing proudly as they have above a scrap yard.
A face-lift, it seems, is just around the corner. Yorkshire Forward has recently announced that it is in talks with ISIS Waterside Regeneration about he development of the site and an agreement is expected by April this year to deliver an exemplary mixed use scheme which will feature housing, offices, high quality public spaces and some retail and leisure. Find more information about Holbeck at www.holbeckurbanvillage.co.uk.

Leeds Universities expand……

The pace of growth at the city’s universities shows no sign of letting up. Plans have recently been announced by Leeds University for a new £15m student administration building on Beechgrove Terrace, a £9.7m swimming pool alongside the campus sports centre, £4m worth of new laboratories, a new health and bio-science headquarters in Woodhouse costing £10.5m and a planning application has been submitted for a new sports pitch complex on the outskirts of the city. It seems that the Universities are determined to achieve excellence and world status.

Meanwhile, Leeds Met has been granted planning permission for the first phase of the Portland Place scheme behind the civic hall which will provide the Rose Bowl lecture theatre along with Leeds Business School.

Residential Property Awards

The 2nd of February 2007 will see the 4th Resi Props Party Night at the Queens Hotel in Leeds. Already sold out to an audience of nearly 500, the evening will feature a guest compere, a charity auction with some fantastic lots and themed entertainment. Most importantly of all, Yorkshire Variety Club and Morgans hope to exceed last years fund raising total of £60,000, which goes towards helping the disabled and disadvantaged children of Yorkshire.

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!