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What is Aire Park?
Aire Park sits in the heart of the Leeds South Bank project, the biggest regeneration in Leeds and one of the top regeneration projects in the North. The expansive recreation area will host regular activities and events. It will be one of the most sought-after parks in Leeds to spend time in, whether it is for the many planned events, work breaks, meeting others, or simply relaxing.
Aire Park is supporting the expansion of Leeds City Centre. Its purpose is quite alike to Leeds Innovation Arc. This large urban park is to provide a sustainable design and a vital link between the city centre and the further districts. Its concept is part of Leeds’ aim to become a 15-minute city to make everything residents and workers need to be within walking distance. This is to ultimately make use of redundant cars in the city, helping achieve the target of Net Zero.
Tetley's Brewery Wharf
Most of the 24-acre project is taking place on Tetley Brewery’s historic site.
The Tetley contemporary art gallery and the Grade II-listed Salem Chapel will remain untouched. Together, they join the new commercial buildings in framing the 8-acre public park at the project’s heart. However, Tetley’s former headquarters, Huntsman House, is being demolished. It began in early April 2023 and should take two months to complete. This is to make space for the new recreational space.
After completing two of the three commercial buildings, Aire Park is progressing very well. These two structures are expected to be completed towards the end of 2023. However, it will not be open to the public until 2024.
The first phase of Aire Park reached structural completion back in February 2023. However, work on the 200,000 sq. ft. of commercial space’s interior is to continue.
The buildings in their entirety comprise two office buildings and six flexible retail spaces across the ground floor. The six-to-eight floors of offices offer 23,000 sq. ft. of space. Alongside impressive ESG credentials, these offer some of the largest Grade A floorplates available in Leeds. These commercial buildings are powered by renewable energy and have an EPC rating of A and a WELL Building Gold certification.
Due to the likes of Channel 4 migrating their headquarters to Leeds, these offices have been built to accommodate similar large-scale organisations. Aire Park is already attracting major interest from large businesses to follow in Channel 4’s footsteps.
This project will be completed later this year. However, it is due to open to the public in 2024 alongside Aire Park’s 8-acre public park. This is while the third commercial building continues construction.
The second phase of Aire Park began in early May 2023. This includes the third and final commercial building, stretching seven storeys and 75,000 sq. ft. of office space. Like the first two buildings, the ground floor is to provide almost 7,000 sq. ft. of space for retail and amenities.
This phase is driving further investment to create a brand-new urban district. Located at the junction of Hunslet Road and Waterloo Street, this part of Aire Park is a key gateway from the city centre. The first stage of the build will last a few months before the assembly of the pre-cast frame commences in Q1 2024.
The development’s character pays tribute to the surrounding heritage and architecture. Incorporating the historic area with sustainable, mixed-use commercial, residential, and green spaces will drive residents and visitors to the area. Aire Park will connect the city centre with its enticing, all-important green space at its heart.
An Urban Oasis
Forget one of the largest city parks in Leeds – how about the largest city park in the UK? Much of the 8-acre green space on Tetley’s brewery wharf will offer event space, cafes, and a playground. The regenerations are reclaiming roads and car parks to make way for more green spaces alongside The Tetley.
Green landscaping is due to transform Crown Point Road, soon to become Leeds’ ‘new green heart’. People can expect tree-lined lawns, new cycleways, and wider footpaths. On top of this, hundreds of trees and plants will aid wildlife and support Leeds’ Net Zero ambitions.
The existing green space at Sovereign Square is to act as a gateway to Aire Park. Former Meadow Lane roads are also being narrowed or reposed into new gardens. The traffic-free David Oluwale Bridge will connect Sovereign Square to the park. This will provide fast and sustainable access to help Leeds’ 15-minute city plans.
Aire Park is the biggest Leeds development that makes up most of the South Bank project. Its ever-nearing completion will offer a new type of city centre.
The sustainable and people-first infrastructure will help to power and recover Leeds’ post-pandemic economy. With the expected 3,000 residents and up to 11,000 workers being drawn to the city, Leeds can thank Aire Park for attracting more investments to aid employment, homes, and quality spaces where the people of Leeds can meet and connect.
Aire Park is centrally located. Leeds train station is just a 10-minute walk away and the city’s retail and finance quarters are even nearer. This alone is sure to help Leeds see a boom in the economy.
With over 200,000 sq. ft of office space in the pipeline, job prospects will soar in Leeds City Centre, consequently increasing accommodation demand, too. Regeneration projects such as Aire Park work hand-in-hand with the booming economy rising employment rates and rental demand brings, strengthening the property market.
Interest from major businesses is already on the rise, with more sure to follow suit and relocate to the city. As this happens, the property market and rental demand will skyrocket. Leeds is already an investment hotspot. Rental prices rose by a massive 11% in the last year, providing yields of 6.5%. This will undoubtedly grow as the rest of the £1 billion Leeds city centre developments continue towards completion.
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