Leeds Site To Finally Be Developed

A brownfield site in Leeds that has been empty since 2008 is to finally be developed in a £270 million project involving four new buildings.

The former Leeds International Pool site will be developed by a partnership of Marrico Asset Management and Helios Real Estate, with the development including buildings of 15, 22, 24 and 33 storeys in height. These will provide over 600 build to rent apartments, 550 student beds, an aparthotel, 150,000 sq ft of commercial office space and some leisure and retail facilities.

Previously, the site, known as Lisbon Square, had been earmarked for a new skyscraper following the demolition of the 1960s baths a dozen years ago, but the financial crisis led to the project being axed and the land has been used for car parking ever since.

The project may add significantly to the use of rebar in Leeds as the towers go up, contributing substantially to the gradual redevelopment of the city centre. 

This has included major schemes in recent years such as Altus House, the tallest building in Leeds at 114 metres, which was completed this year. Leeds now has three buildings over 100 m tall, all built in the 21st century.

As well as the new buildings, the vicinity will be substantially landscaped, a point highlighted by Marrico partner Mark Barnes.

He commented: “The Lisbon Street development will remove an unsightly site and deliver high-quality architecture and public realm while creating an attractive and distinctive urban development in its own right.”

Mr Barnes added that he hoped this development would act as a catalyst for further new investment and development in the area, a wish no doubt shared by local authorities and businesses alike following the blow of the cancellation of the HS2 link to the city.

A consolation for Leeds may come in the form of a tram system for the city, for which the government is providing an initial £200 million. This may help accessibility to the city centre, especially from the north-east of the city, where hundreds of thousands live far from the nearest railway line.

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