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Planning Application Submitted For Student Accommodation As Part Of Merrion Centre’s Evolution

Leeds based Property Investor and developer, and owners of the Merrion Centre, Town Centre Securities PLC, has unveiled the next phase of evolution for the Merrion Centre in Leeds, with a groundbreaking planning application that is set to transform the iconic 1m sq ft mixed used scheme.

For the first time, the Merrion Centre is looking to introduce residential accommodation to its ever changing, dynamic offering that has been proudly part of the retail, office and leisure landscape of Leeds for the last 60 years.

In a bid to address the burgeoning demand for accommodation in the area, TCS’s planning application introduces two new buildings within the Merrion Centre. These structures are designed to deliver 1,110 student bedrooms, comprising a range of studios and cluster bedrooms. The student accommodations will be complemented across both buildings with a range of amenities, including residents’ lounges, co-working spaces, meeting spaces, cinema, gym, karaoke room, 191 secure cycle spaces and external terraces.

This significant development would involve the conversion of the 13 storey Wade House, a 1960’s office building which has been predominantly vacant since May 2021. This sits adjacent to a new 35 storey tower, on the site of 100MC which was previously consented as a new build office scheme.

Recent research commissioned by Cushman & Wakefield in support of the application reveals a current Student to Bed ratio in Leeds of 2.13:1, with over 26,000 students lacking access to purpose-built bed spaces. In alignment with TCS’s strategic vision, the detailed planning application outlines the reimagining of Wade House and 100MC into vibrant student residential accommodations, freeing up local residential housing for the wider community. This move underscores the company’s commitment to adapting and diversifying the mixed-use destination to meet evolving demands.

Edward Ziff, Chairman and Chief Executive of TCS, expressed his enthusiasm about this transformative phase, stating,

“We have identified significant untapped potential within our Merrion estate, strategically positioning it for future growth. We are delighted to submit this crucial planning application which signifies the commencement of our upcoming strategy for the Merrion Centre. Our dedication to investing in and enhancing this mixed-use city centre destination is resolute, and we are excited to embark on this next phase of development.”

Ever Changing Surroundings

“The surrounding location and demographic has continued to evolve over previous decades, more recently with the first direct arena and numerous student and residential developments.

“These changes are set to continue with further developments coming forward including the proposed Convention Centre on Merrion Way.

“Our proposition and offer across the Merrion Centre has consistently evolved to address the changes in demand across the retail and leisure elements. This application has been carefully considered to strike a balance of reuse first with the re-invention of Wade House. The two buildings provide a rare opportunity to deliver a complimentary student offer which will benefit from the vast array of retail and leisure amenities that the wider estate offers”.

To view details of the public consultation for the proposed scheme please click here