MULTI-MILLION pound plans to transform part of Southampton

13th September 2019

Tags: Southampton news

MULTI-MILLION pound plans to transform part of Southampton city centre have been unveiled.

A new office block, 275 flats, new restaurants, cafes and shops could be built at the former Toys R Us site in Western Esplanade.

A new promenade linking Southampton Central Railway Station to the northern edge of West Quay is also set to be created at the site which has been derelict since 2018, when Toys R Us business collapsed.

The £27m 70,000 sq.ft office building is set to be funded by Southampton City Council (SCC) through external borrowing.

It will incorporate a business lounge off the reception area as well as flexible co-working spaces on the lower floors.

The scheme will be developed in three phases whose total end value could exceed £150m.

The first phase will see the new office building space, 275 apartments in three linked blocks as well as restaurants, cafes, shops and possibly a gym or other leisure attractions.

The construction value of phase one will be around £75m, SCC said.

More homes are set to be built as part of the second phase of the project "with their final quantum and mix being determined by market demand and availability of additional immediately neighbouring land", the report says.

Meanwhile, another development which may be an office space or a new hotel will be part of phase three.

A the full council meeting set to be held next Wednesday, councillors will be asked to approve the expenditure of £27m for the office building which will be part of phase one.

Cllr Christopher Hammond, council leader at SCC, said: "The old Toys’r’us site is the first phase of improving this important gateway into the city. We’re excited to bring these transformative plans to full council to enable 275 new homes and an iconic new office building that meets the highest environmental standards. The council will be an active partner to help provide an economic boost for the city and to create new skilled jobs for our citizens."

Cllr Dan Fitzhenry, leader of the opposition party at SCC, described the project as a first-class offer.

He said given the council is borrowing the money to build new offices further details will have to be discussed on Wednesday.

He added: "Usually there are some risks with this that we need to examine. The council needs to make decisions that don’t put it in an even worse financial position that affects the provision of services for residents. But fundamentally we need to have a great vision for this city and we need sometimes to take risks to deliver key projects.”

Source: Daily echo

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