I’m sure a few people will remember the demolition of the Empire Theatre, on Charles Street, back in 1959.
The grand old theatre was replaced by shops and offices, bridging the gap between Union Street and Pinstone Street, the most beloved tenant being Sugg Sport that closed in 2000.
They say that today’s buildings are tomorrow’s history.
This will be the case if Manchester-based developer CTP eventually gets the go-ahead for St. Paul’s 4, a 10-storey office block, planned in place of this 1960s building.
The £35million scheme was proposed in June last year, when CTP wanted half of the building pre-let before launching the project. A pre-let – signing a tenant while a building is still on the drawing board – would then trigger a bank or financial institution.
Initial talks had taken place with Sheffield City Council, thought to be supportive of the development, and CTP stated that “demand for the project was so high that they were happy to forge ahead.”
A pre-planning application had been expected last autumn, but has yet to materialise.
The optimism for St. Paul’s 4 was based on Sheffield’s office take-up reaching a ten year high in 2017, when prime office space availability fell to its lowest level on record.
However, the update from CTP is perhaps less optimistic.
With several new office blocks completed in the city centre, the developer has now downgraded its status to “serious tenant enquiries.”
CTP has an excellent track record in Sheffield, being responsible for St. Paul’s 1,2 and 3, as well as the Mercure Hotel, Cheesegrater car-park and St. Paul’s Tower.
It promises that St. Paul’s 4 would “respect the heritage” of historic buildings in the area, and complement an adjacent 32-storey tower block, proposed for the site of Midcity House, at the junction of Furnival Gate, Pinstone Street and Union Street.
CTP has a ‘quasi joint venture’ with Schroders, an asset management company, that owns the land and building on the site.
If St. Paul’s 4 gets off the ground, then it will be one of the most significant changes to Pinstone Street in modern times.