Developer Downing will submit ambitious plans in the autumn for a major student accommodation and events scheme in Leeds city centre, adjacent to the Leeds First Direct Arena.
It will seek detailed planning consent for purpose-built student accommodation across two separate but adjacent plots, and outline planning to develop a multi-purpose events space, which would be taken forward at a future date by Leeds City Council.
A 38-storey purpose-built student tower is planned for Merrion Way featuring 728 student bedrooms in a mix of six-bedroom and 296 studios.
High-rise building proposed for site fronting Clay Pit Lane, Merrion Way and Brunswick Terrace, with nearby events centre plan still at outline stage
Meanwhile, the existing Yorkshire Bank office building would be demolished to make way for the second phase, comprising a stepped building rising to 18 storeys, featuring 543 student bedrooms in a mix of five and six-bedroom clusters and 216 studios.
Second student accommodation building proposal for site located between Clay Pit Lane and Elmwood Close
If approved, the plans will pave the way for 1,200 flats and the creation of a 110,000 sq ft facility including an 800-900 capacity auditorium at the centre of the Leeds Arena Quarter, designed to attract additional corporate, cultural and live events.
The sustainable development will incorporate photovoltaic panels and air source heat pumps.
Each element of the plan promises to regenerate unused space in part of the city that will benefit economically from additional footfall. The proposals also have the potential to create approximately 390 jobs in the construction phase.
George Tyson, projects director at Downing, said: “It has long been recognised that Leeds is in need of an additional, flexible events space capable of hosting corporate banqueting, awards ceremonies and live entertainment. With 2,000 square metre flat floor space, this scheme has the potential to host conferences and exhibitions which can’t be facilitated at the Arena or other venues in the city centre, allowing Leeds to secure business that may otherwise be lost to other cities and regions.”
He added: “Attracting and retaining graduate talent is vital to the health of the regional economy and this relies on being able to offer attractive student accommodation. Our proposals will provide students with brand new, first-class living space in a dynamic part of the city, with fast access to university buildings and facilities.”