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Buildings

New Era Square

It is probably Sheffield’s longest-running construction project. New Era Square, at the corner of St. Mary’s Gate and Bramall Lane, seems to be taking an eternity to complete. Construction of the £66million project started in late 2015 with building work still ongoing four years later.

The residential and leisure development is the creation of Jerry Cheung, a UK-Chinese businessman, local property developer, restaurant owner, and chair of the Sheffield Chinese Community Centre.

Cheung is head of New Era Development (UK) Ltd, an international property development company based in Sheffield, founded in 2013 to develop large-scale Chinese-funded projects in the north of England.

Local media have dubbed their first project, New Era Square, designed by Hadfield Cawkwell Davidson Ltd, as “Chinatown” and “Sheffield’s very own version of New York’s Times Square.”

Building work is being undertaken by Derbyshire-based Bowmer & Kirkland with Phase 1 finished last year, consisting mainly of student living space.

Phase 2 is underway after £27million of funding from Barclays, and will include cluster student accommodation, restaurants, retail and office space, all built around a central plaza.

As construction moves towards completion, restaurants are already being lined up to move in.

This week, Oriental fine dining restaurant OISOI announced that it would be moving into New Era Square early next year.

The company is opening OISOI Gathering/The Party Room and The Artisan Patisserie and Bakery, providing a new concept in live music, in-house party bands and state-of-the-art holographic technology.

Categories
Buildings

Velocity Tower

Things didn’t go to plan with the Velocity Tower, near Moore Street roundabout, at the edge of the city centre.

When it was built it should have been 30-storeys high, (an application for 36-storeys was wisely rejected by planners), but construction halted on the 21st floor, as the firm behind it went into administration. A student block alongside would have reached 18-storeys, containing 41 cluster flats, but only the ground-floor podium was completed.

In 2011 the complex went on the market for £10.5million and was eventually snapped up by Dubai-based Select Group.

A few corners had been cut during the initial build, something that Select have been able to rectify as well as completing the unfinished twenty-first floor.

More importantly, it agreed a deal for a £6.5million Ibis Hotel in the footprint of the proposed student block.

Work is almost completed on the seven-storey building, designed by Whittam Cox Architects, and will provide an extra 126 beds for the city centre. A coffee shop will be created on the ground floor along with the reception and (somewhat scanty) 14 car-parking spaces.

Meanwhile, planning permission remains for the 30-storeys at Velocity Tower, although the developer says there are no plans to extend higher.