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PROPERTY £70m Southampton bid approved

Plans have been approved for the leisure-led £70m Watermark WestQuay develop- ment in Southampton centre. Developer Hammerson

An artist’s impression of Crystal Palace

London redevelopment of Crystal Palace stalled

Redevelopment plans for London’s Crystal Palace have hit a wall as negotiations with the site’s investors – Chinese ZhongRong Group and Bromley Council – have taken significantly longer than expected. Speaking to the Architects’ Journal,

Green Party spokesman in Crystal Palace Tom Chance said: “We understand that the negotiations are stuck in a catch 22 situa- tion – that the council wants more detail on the plans before it signs off on the land deal, but the developer wants the land deal secured before it puts more money into developing the plans.” Te Crystal Palace project has sparked a lot of interest, with famous architects eager to be involved. Details:

HLF grant to revive historic building in Northern Ireland

A new type of grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has been awarded to the Northern Counties building in Derry- Londonderry, to transform it from a decaying shell to a boutique hotel. Te Northern Counties building is the

first of its kind to receive the new “Heritage Enterprise” grant, with £784,000 awarded to the Inner City Building Preservation Trust (ICBT) for necessary conservation works and extensive remodelling. Built in 1899, previously a private mem-

bers’ club and then office space, Northern Counties has stood empty since 2005. Its transformation will include vital repairs, the creation of a restaurant and room for 45 new jobs, whilst boosting tourism. Te “Heritage Enterprise” grant comes as

a result of a major piece of research called New Ideas Need Old Buildings, undertaken by Colliers International, Spirul Research and Oxford Economics, which demon- strated the positive impact that historical buildings have on the UK’s economy and their capacity to boost growth. One of the key findings was that commercial busi- nesses based in historic buildings generate more wealth. Details:


– which also owns and man- ages the nearby WestQuay Shopping Centre – won unan- imous support from local councillors for a 10 screen cinema, up to 20 restaurants and a major public piazza. The new public square,

to be located in front of the city’s historic wall, has been inspired by water pools cre- ated by mudflats on the Southampton coastline and includes a unique water fea- ture that ebbs and flows like the tide. The piazza will also be used during the year for events, such as open air cinemas and concerts. Work is expected to start on the initial phase

later this autumn, with Watermark WestQuay scheduled to open in autumn 2016. After this first phase of developments,

Hammerson is looking to introduce a second phase, which will likely see the creation of a hotel, retail and office space, as well as a resi- dential tower and underground parking. ACME is masterplanner and architect for Watermark WestQuay, Grant Associates is

Work is expected to start on the initial phase later this autumn

the landscape designers and Barton Wilmore is providing planning advice on the project. “Tis site offers a unique opportunity to

deliver an exceptional leisure and dining des- tination for Southampton,” said Hammerson development manager Guy Wells. “We have been hugely encouraged with

the level of support that we have received on the scheme from stakeholders and we have worked very hard with the council to create a scheme which is already generat- ing strong interest from potential occupiers.” Details:

Man City owner lands £1bn regeneration deal

The owner of Manchester City Football Club (MCFC) is to lead a £1bn housing regeneration project in east Manchester, which is hoped to prove the catalyst for a raſt of lei- sure developments. MCFC owner Sheikh Mansour’s

investment company Abu Dhabi United Group (ADUG) is to part- ner with Manchester City Council on a 10-year agreement to build up to 6,000 homes in the once run- down east Manchester area. Te deal, worth approximately

Sheikh Mansour is the owner of Abu Dhabi United Group (ADUG)

£1bn, will see 830 private homes constructed in Ancoats and New Islington during phase one of the project. Both neigh- bourhoods are near to MCFC’s Etihad Stadium and new training complex, the Etihad Campus. According to Manchester City Council, the

economic impact of phase one is expected to create significant employment opportunities and lead to increased demand for retail, lei- sure and commercial developments.

Read Leisure Opportunities online: “Tis adds another commercial dimension

to the already significant investment made by Manchester City Council and ADUG in East Manchester, and in doing so progresses the regeneration which began in the 1990s and was accelerated by the 2002 Commonwealth Games and ADUG’s recent development of the Etihad Campus,” said council leader Sir Richard Leese. Details:

Twitter: @leisureopps © CYBERTREK 2014

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