WORK is now progressing at pace on both the 71/72 Kingsway development and the nearby ‘living building’ scheme at Picton Yard.
Swansea Council is developing a new office building at the 71/72 Kingsway site, which used to be home to nightclubs including Oceana, Time and Envy, Ritzy’s, and Top Rank.
The completed building will be made up of seven storeys – two underground and five above street level.
Glazing has started to be introduced and guard rails are now being installed on the development’s top floor, which will include a green rooftop terrace with views over the city centre and Swansea Bay.
Bouygues UK – the council’s main contractor for the scheme – anticipates completion of construction in early 2024.
Once operational, the development will provide space for 600 workers and be worth £32.6m a year to Swansea’s economy.
As well as 114,000 square feet of commercial floor space featuring flexible co-working and networking opportunities, a new link between Oxford Street and The Kingsway is also being constructed. Plenty of new greenery will be introduced as part of that link.
The 71/72 Kingsway development is being part-funded by the Swansea Bay City Deal and supported by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.
Once complete, it will also include balconies, public spaces, atriums, dedicated event areas, meeting spaces and food, drink and retail outlets.
Solar panels on top of the building will also be included, as well as underfloor heating, heat recovery systems to minimise energy use and a rainwater capture feature to help with water supply to plants and trees in and around the development.
The marketing and letting agents for the scheme are JLL and Avison Young, who can provide further information and current availability on request.
Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader, said: “said: “There’s still a significant demand for modern, flexible office space of this kind in Swansea, despite the pandemic having led to more home working.
“Talks with a number of potential tenants are advanced and a marketing drive will soon start to further raise the profile of the facility in the business community. This is usual timing for a development of this nature as construction progress on site starts to become more and more visible.
“The 71/72 Kingsway development and the nearby ‘living building’ scheme at Picton Yard will combine to boost our economy, create jobs for local people and generate more footfall and spending in the city centre to benefit traders there. They’ll also raise Swansea’s profile as a city of innovation, which will help attract more investment and jobs in future while keeping local companies in the city.”
With construction earmarked for completion in the summer of 2024, the ‘living building’ scheme will be made up of the former Woolworths unit and a new adjoining 12-storey tower.
The tower, once open, will accommodate an aquaponics centre, exhibition space, offices and residential space. Steel structuring is also now being installed on the roof of the former Woolworths building to enable the introduction of living spaces and gardens there.
Also to be included in the overall scheme are green walls and green roofs, an urban farm-style greenhouse set over four floors, an educational facility, retail, further office space, a landscaped courtyard, rooftop solar panels and battery storage. Pobl Group will manage affordable apartments forming part of the project.
Plants and vegetables will be grown in water and fed by waste pumped from fish tanks at the bottom of the building.
The development, once operational, will accommodate about 300 jobs.
Carwyn Davies, Managing Director of Hacer Developments, said: “A lot of people have noticed the tower which is now taking shape on the city centre’s skyline close to the 71/72 Kingsway development, with construction now continuing on that structure and works also taking place at the former Woolworths building.
“The ‘living building’ scheme, once operational, will be truly groundbreaking not just in terms of its innovation, but also because it’ll be the UK’s first development of this kind.
“These are exciting times for Swansea, with the number of cranes in the sky showing the scale of the investment that’s happening in the city.
“With environmental best practices and plenty of green infrastructure at its heart, the new employment, living and innovation destination will breathe new life into both Oxford Street and The Kingsway, while also creating jobs and affordable homes for local people.”
The ‘living building’ is being funded by a mixture of private sector funding and funding from the Welsh Government’s Innovative Housing Programme, Pobl and the Development Bank of Wales.
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