Developer selected for planned £270m city centre scheme

The old international swimming pool site, which is now a car park

Leeds City Council has selected a preferred developer for the site of the city’s former International Swimming Pool – with proposals for a £270m redevelopment.

It is hoped the project could act as a springboard for further investment in the west end of the city centre.

Marrico Asset Management and Helios Real Estate have been selected as the preferred developer for the 2.8 acre site on Lisbon Street.

Marrico and Helios intend to submit a planning application by the end of the year to deliver ‘Lisbon Square’, a high-quality mixed-used development of 500 student apartments, 400 residential apartments, a 300-bed hotel, and 150,000 square-feet of office space.

Lisbon Square would feature a significant public realm development at its heart, which would be of a similar scale to Sovereign Square and will complement nearby Park Square.

Marrico and Helios intend to submit a planning application by the end of the year for the site, which has been used as a council car park since the pool’s demolition in 2009.

If planning permission is granted, work would begin in 2021.

The development could form a key part of further investment and resurgence in the west end of the city centre.

In January, planning permission was secured for a 17-storey office development on neighbouring Wellington Street, along with the major redevelopment of Wellington Place.

Councillor James Lewis, deputy leader of Leeds City Council and executive member for resources, said: “We are excited by the Lisbon Square proposals, which would transform the former pool site and play a key role in bringing more investment and growth into the west end of the city centre.

“The development would support our efforts to double the size of the city centre, helping to boost the wider city economy by providing more jobs and opportunities, while at the same time providing a vibrant, world-class public space.

“The funds from selling the site would also support the delivery of crucial council services and tackling the budget gap we face.

“We look forward to seeing this plans come forward for consideration.”

Marrico’s managing partner, Mark Barnes, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen by Leeds City Council to develop this site.

“This highlights our expanding development profile and ability to maintain momentum despite current economic challenges.

“This achievement is a testament to the commitment and professionalism of our team.

“Since selection we have spent the intervening period refining our design to meet the changing needs of the market. The result is a scheme which would be a major asset to the city.”

Trevor Cartner, the Helios chairman, added: “This is undoubtedly the best remaining site in Leeds and our scheme would bring together a number of end users who will contribute to what will be a vibrant new area.

“We are working with a student operator who will own and operate the student accommodation together with a major hotel brand.

“The apartments and offices would be released to the market and we anticipate very high demand.”

Richard Bland at Marrico LLP, said: “There was a positive momentum in the UK economy together with the strong growth in Leeds prior to recent times, market sentiment and occupier demand means that there are a number of larger, ‘live’ and forthcoming requirements coming forward.”