We’re thrilled to share some groundbreaking news that marks a potential significant milestone in the evolution of the Merrion Centre – our owners, Town Centre Securities PLC (TCS) have just submitted a planning application that could transform our iconic mixed-use space like never before!
This page explains the plans and our vision in more detail, and we are seeking feedback on the plans, which you can submit HERE.
The demand for student housing in Leeds is growing, and TCS is addressing this by looking to repurpose the 13-storey Wade House and introduce a new 35-storey tower on the site of 100MC. This will create vibrant student residential accommodations and help free up local residential housing for the wider community.
The Merrion Centre has been an integral part of Leeds for 60 years, and with over 8.2 million internal visitors in 2022, it remains one of the city’s most iconic destinations. TCS’s continued investments have kept us relevant and vibrant, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for our beloved Merrion Centre.
TCS is looking to introduce residential accommodation to the Merrion Centre for the first time. The exciting proposed developments involves two new buildings designed to deliver 1,110 student bedrooms, offering a mix of studios and cluster bedrooms.
A planning application has been submitted to Leeds City Council that includes three phases of regeneration for these two parts of the wider centre. The first is the conversion and refurbishment of Wade House, an existing 13-storey vacant office tower at the heart of the Merrion Centre.
The likely second phase is the replacement of 100MC, which was previously consented as a new build office scheme, replacing this with a new 35 storey building.
The final part of the development is the regeneration and re-configuration of the key routes within and around the Merrion Estate to support the proposed student accommodation.
In total, this vision would deliver a diverse mix of student accommodation-types across both buildings, 264 student beds in Wade House and 846 beds in 100 Merrion Centre, totalling 1100 beds across the site.
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.
Engagement with Leeds City Council has been ongoing for some time and as a result of feedback various changes have been made to the plans to ensure they are sympathetic to their surroundings and so they can offer maximum benefits to the area.
Why Student Accommodation?
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.
At this stage, TCS has submitted a planning application, which will be analysed by the Council and subject to its own consultations with neighbours, stakeholders and various departments within the Council.
A decision is expected in the coming months and if this application approved, we will be able to update on timescales for delivery and construction of the proposals.