Making use of the rooftop terrace. Not bad at all. Grosvenor House, the name chosen by HSBC employees, and paying homage to the hotel that stood here before. The main office entrance is located on the corner of Wellington Street and Cambridge Street, and another entrance faces onto a new area of public realm at Charter Square. The building will also include retail space and shop fronts will be primarily located on Cambridge Street and also the important corner where Pinstone Street meets Furnival Gate. HSBC employees in Sheffield are being relocated from their current office space at Griffin House after the banking giant signed as the anchor tenant on a 15-year lease, committing them to Sheffield city centre.
We all watched with interest when Telephone House on Wellington Street underwent mega-renovation a few years ago.
Sheffield’s thirteenth tallest building, standing at 56 metres, was typical of late sixties office blocks that leapt up around the country.
After World War Two, the city adopted a comprehensive redevelopment plan for the area between Cambridge Street and Upper Hanover Street. Part of this strategy allowed the General Post Office (GPO) to build a 15-storey glass-fronted block in place of old housing.
Building started in the late 1960s and was completed by 1972. It was used to manage the telephone network in the area while parts of the lower building included independent retail units as well as a multi-storey car park. Yorkshire Television (YTV) later installed technical equipment on the roof linking the studio in Charter Row to its Leeds studios.
Telephone House was subsequently re-badged with a huge BT logo when the GPO became British Telecommunications in 1980.
In 2012, BT announced it was closing Telephone House and selling the property to a business consortium, Ace Liberty and Stone, which intended to sell-off parts of the building to developers. BT vacated the building in October with the loss of around 400 jobs.
In March 2014, the tower block section, excluding the retail units and car park, were sold to Vita Student, a developer, which converted the offices into ‘high-standard’ apartments for students. The project started in July 2014, costing £35million, and involved complete refurbishment of the interior as well as an exterior facelift. A sixteenth floor was added containing 14 luxury penthouses and suites.
Work finished in August 2015 leaving Telephone House offering ‘the World’s best student accommodation’ – SMART TVs, big double beds and large kitchens – as well as communal facilities including cinema, entertainment areas, gym, laundry and a library/study area.
The accommodation isn’t cheap, anywhere between £176 to £260 per week – and has appealed to foreign students, with deep pockets, attending both universities.
Sheffield’s skyline is going to look very different in the coming years. With several high-rise projects in development, the news comes that planning consent has been granted for a £100million scheme that is set to include the tallest building in Yorkshire.
The plans from Code will include three buildings of 12, 17 and 38 storeys, located on a site adjacent to the Vita building between Rockingham Street, Wellington Street and Trafalgar Street.
At almost 117 metres tall, the main tower would be taller than a 114-metre Hume House scheme currently under construction in Leeds, which is set to become the tallest in the region.
It would also be 16 metres taller than St Paul’s Tower, Sheffield’s current title holder.
The co-living development is aimed at a mixture of students, post-graduates and younger people. It will feature a 24-hour concierge on site and communal space at both the ground level of the main tower and the top floor of the 17-storey block.
A total of 1,230 apartments will be provided, with the majority being studios but also one- and two-bedroom units.
Sheffield City Council’s planning and highways committee voted to approve the plans at a meeting yesterday (28 January).
Planning Officers had recommended approval after noting the quality of the design, and suggesting the building would act as a positive key marker for the ongoing redevelopment of the neighbouring Heart of the City II area.
Work to bring forward the development is set to begin immediately, with Code aiming to be on site to begin construction this summer. It was supported in its application by Howes Percival and Staniforth Architects.