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Nottingham Station and southern gateway to be transformed into new mixed use quarter

wantspacegotspace.co.uk - Nottingham Station and southern gateway to be transformed into new mixed use quarterNottingham is to be transformed by major new infrastructure investment and development:
£64 million transformation of Nottingham Rail Station ‘Hub’, £450 million extension to the highly successful NET Tram system both to be completed in 2014 – servicing the universities, hospitals and city centre along with A453 dualing to M1 – direct link to city Southern Gateway and the Electrification Midland Mainline – London 1.5 hrs

The Nottingham Southern Gateway Quarter will total 32 hectares, directly adjoining the new hub and only 2 minutes walk from the soon-to-be-refurbished Broadmarsh Shopping Centre. The area will be a main focus for exciting new development investment in terms of:
Major new commercial/ office development which will be Mixed use with Potential student accommodation.

With Nottingham City Council is a major land owner and will be proactively promoting and delivering this area.

Nottingham City Council planning service has a growing reputation for delivery and is aiming to become the most proactive and ‘open for business’ planning team in the UK.

Nottingham, being one of England’s eight core cities and one of the six designated Science Cities in the UK. During the 20th century Nottingham transformed itself from being a traditional industrial city to a diverse and service-led economy. It is the administrative capital of the East Midlands.  It possesses two world class academic institutions with over 55,000 students – The University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University, and it is also home to Boots whose campus was recently designated as one of the first Enterprise Zones alongside three other business and science parks .

In July 2012 Nottingham City Council launched its ambitious Growth Plan which seeks to stimulate new investment and create new job opportunities with the city. Copies of which can be downloaded here. Several well known developers most notably Peel Holdings and Wilson Bowden have already recognised the area’s potential and have secured planning permissions for new Grade A offices.

Initially concentrating on the “Triangle” of land between Sheriffs Way and Arkwright Street it is anticipated that this will become an exciting new commercial and mixed use quarter for the city. Beyond this area, other activities including a variety of residential and education uses will be promoted. In order to deliver this vision, the landowners are investigating how a collaborative partnership approach can be established led by Nottingham City Council.

As part of a City Deal, an agreement with Central Government, new and creative funding initiatives will be established by Nottingham City Council to promote investment and business growth in the city.

The individual sites that have been identified for commercial development will be largely led by the private sector, although the Nottingham City Council itself owns a major site alongside the station which it will be looking to expose to the market in due course.

Given current market conditions developers continue to operate on a low risk basis and are only committing to development on a pre-let basis. As such Nottingham City Council is currently investigating the potential for using innovative financial mechanisms such as establishing a rental guarantee scheme or purchasing the freehold to allow developers to borrow commercially and engage in speculative developments with confidence. In addition the Council may also consider direct investment itself using prudential borrowing, granting business rates relief and other incentives through the recent City Deal initiative in order to promote development within the Southern Gateway area.

Victor Ktori, head of office at Savills Nottingham, comments: “Southern Gateway is a visionary step for Nottingham, providing a purposeful focus for regeneration. The fundamental problem with the office market in the city is that it is in a state of flux, with absorption rates for second hand stock increasing on the basis of conversion to student accommodation-led schemes. This, combined with the severe lack of Grade A stock, is likely to have a marked effect on rentals and yields as the shortage becomes more acute. Therefore, a well-located Grade A office development, that offers the flexibility of 5,000 sq ft floorplates and good parking provision within the Southern Gateway, is a viable speculative step for Nottingham. Schemes like Peel’s Unity Square and Wilson Bowden’s Sentinel will anchor the city by way of urban regeneration similar to that of established markets in Birmingham and Manchester.”

Robert Grafton, development director of Wilson Bowden Developments, comments: “Wilson Bowden Developments are delighted that the Southern Gateway initiative has been launched. This area of the City is the next to be transformed to accommodate prime, large footprint office buildings. Its location, close to the existing CBD with immediate access to the National Rail network and arterial roads, and the imminent arrival of the extended Tram network make its already attractive location even more so. The fact that the various landowners and developers involved are working together to deliver the scheme makes for a credible and powerful offer to potential occupiers.”

Richard Mawdsley, development manager of Peel Holdings plc comments:  “The more successful UK Core Cities seem to benefit from clusters of professional service companies wrapped around their main transport hub.  This makes total sense – both for the civic branding of the city - and to maximise connectivity for the occupiers.  The Southern Gateway – with Unity Square at its heart – is set to become Nottingham’s equivalent.  Models of regeneration around transport nodes are nothing new – but the thinking in this case around proper ‘place making’; in sustainability; and in how ‘corporates’ will function in the future – certainly is”.

Posted by The Editor (wantspacegotspace) on 6th November 2012 (updated 08/11/2012)

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