Commercial House – new owner for former Barclays Bank Building

Earlier this week, I wrote about an exciting planning application for Canada House, formerly the Gas Offices, on Commercial Street. It might be some time away, but the regeneration of Fitzalan Square, Haymarket, Commercial Street, and Castlegate, is already on the mind of property developers and investors.

Here’s a recent statement from Connor Rogers, at Cushman & Wakefield:-

“The transformation of the immediate area led by the redevelopment of Fitzalan Square, part of the city’s £5m Knowledge Gateway programme, and the proximity to Sheffield Hallam and the city’s amenities, will allow Glenbrook to adapt its strategy to suit future market conditions.”

He refers to Manchester-based Glenbrook Investments which has made its first acquisition in Sheffield, across the road from Canada House. It has paid £3m for Commercial House, once the Barclays Bank building, that lays adjacent to Ponds Forge International Sports Centre.

Scott Griffiths, investment director at Glenbrook Investments, said: “Commercial House provides a high-quality income return until December 2024 from an attractive building that is well positioned within Sheffield city centre for both access and amenities.

“The ambition of Sheffield City Council to reposition the city through targeted investment makes it a very interesting proposition for investors. We look forward to bringing forward our vision for the building as we seek to maximise its potential as a landmark office.”

The building is predominantly let to law firm Knights plc (formerly Keebles) and comprises 33,000 sq ft arranged over basement, ground and four upper floors.

It is also home to Sheffield Town Trust, one of the oldest charitable organisations in the country, having originally been established in 1297 by Thomas de Furnival, Lord of the Manor of Hallam.

I can date Commercial House to the late 1960s or early 1970s, built for Barclays Bank to replace an older branch at the corner of Commercial Street and Fitzalan Square, and stands behind the site once occupied by the King’s Arms Hotel, both buildings demolished to turn Commercial Street into dual carriageway.

I suspect the new owners will be looking to 2024, when office leases expire, and future redevelopment.