Planning Application Submitted For Student Accommodation As Part Of Merrion Centre’s Evolution
Leeds Property Investor submits plans for one of its largest development projects to date with integration of student accommodation to the Merrion Centre
Groundbreaking planning application submitted for 1m sq.ft scheme
Town Centre Securities PLC (TCS), has unveiled the next phase of evolution for the Merrion Centre in Leeds, with a groundbreaking planning application that is set to transform the iconic 1m sq ft mixed used scheme.
For the first time, the Merrion Centre is looking to introduce residential accommodation to its ever changing, dynamic offering that has been proudly part of the retail, office and leisure landscape of Leeds for the last 60 years.
In a bid to address the burgeoning demand for accommodation in the area, TCS’s planning application introduces two new buildings within the Merrion Centre. These structures are designed to deliver 1,110 student bedrooms, comprising a range of studios and cluster bedrooms. The student accommodations will be complemented across both buildings with a range of amenities, including residents’ lounges, co-working spaces, meeting spaces, cinema, gym, karaoke room, 191 secure cycle spaces and external terraces.
This significant development would involve the conversion of the 13 storey Wade House, a 1960’s office building which has been predominantly vacant since May 2021. This sits adjacent to a new 35 storey tower, on the site of 100MC which was previously consented as a new build office scheme.
Recent research commissioned by Cushman & Wakefield in support of the application reveals a current Student to Bed ratio in Leeds of 2.13:1, with over 26,000 students lacking access to purpose-built bed spaces. In alignment with TCS’s strategic vision, the detailed planning application outlines the reimagining of Wade House and 100MC into vibrant student residential accommodations, freeing up local residential housing for the wider community. This move underscores the company’s commitment to adapting and diversifying the mixed-use destination to meet evolving demands.
Edward Ziff, Chairman and Chief Executive of TCS, expressed his enthusiasm about this transformative phase, stating,
“We have identified significant untapped potential within our Merrion estate, strategically positioning it for future growth. We are delighted to submit this crucial planning application which signifies the commencement of our upcoming strategy for the Merrion Centre. Our dedication to investing in and enhancing this mixed-use city centre destination is resolute, and we are excited to embark on this next phase of development.”
“The surrounding location and demographic has continued to evolve over previous decades, more recently with the first direct arena and numerous student and residential developments. These changes are set to continue with further developments coming forward including the proposed Convention Centre on Merrion Way.
“Our proposition and offer across the Merrion Centre has consistently evolved to address the changes in demand across the retail and leisure elements. This application has been carefully considered to strike a balance of reuse first with the re-invention of Wade House. The two buildings provide a rare opportunity to deliver a complimentary student offer which will benefit from the vast array of retail and leisure amenities that the wider estate offers”.
The Merrion Centre was the first of its kind when it initially opened its doors in 1964, as it introduced Leeds to the powerful combination of a destination for shopping by day with entertainment and attractions at night. Merrion changed the face of retail in Leeds and with over 8.2m internal visitors in 2022 it still remains one of the city’s most iconic and popular destinations to date.
Over the years, TCS has continually invested in redevelopments and refurbishments across the Merrion estate, strengthening its position as a busy, relevant, mixed-use destination. Pre-pandemic, the company invested more than £70m of capital over a 5 year period, delivering a number of projects including the redevelopment of Merrion House, an ibis Styles Hotel with adjoining restaurant and the refurbishment of the 1,100 space CitiPark car park.
To view details of the public consultation for the proposed scheme please click here
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