SEX CENTRE SQUARE: New office complex approved for town centre
Councillors have approved another modern office building for Middlesbrough town centre.
Six Centre Square will replace the former Melrose House office block, on Melrose Street, and is being built by developer Ashall Projects to a similar design and standards as nearby One and Two Centre Square, which were completed in 2019.
The new four-storey building was approved unanimously by members of Middlesbrough Council’s planning and development committee and will come with a 72-space car park.
Councillor David Coupe said: “As far as I can see this is the perfect fit for the town centre and I do not see anything to detract from it.
“It will be a great benefit for the town.”
Councillor Carolyn Dodds added: “It is a really lovely building and better than the rubbish one they demolished last year.”
A report to councillors, which recommended approval, said: “The proposed development – along with the completed buildings of Centre Square One and Two – would act as an anchor in realising the vision for the wider Centre Square area, which currently is not utilised to its potential and almost acts as incidental space rather than open space with a primary function.
“Although not facing Centre Square, additional office space near to Centre Square is considered to help bring further skilled workers to the location and assist to provide a renewed vibrancy for Centre Square and re-define its function as a civic space central to the town and being immediately adjacent to the retail and cultural areas of the town centre.”
The report said a vehicular point closure would be created on Grange Road, which would mean traffic associated with the new office will use Marton Road/Melrose Street to access the site.
This would insulate nearby residents from office and commercial through traffic and enable a north/south pedestrian/cycle route to continue through to Centre Square unfettered so users would not have to stop and give way to traffic.
Agent Sarah Savin, from architects Seymour Architecture, said: “It is a common misconception that there is not the demand for office spaces in Middlesbrough town centre due to the number of empty units.
“This isn’t the case – it is just that those empty units are not fit for purpose and even with extensive investment to improve them they would not meet the standards of a modern grade ‘A’ office and the requirements of most modern occupiers.
“As One and Two Centre Square has demonstrated there is a market for these high quality developments in the town, about 85% of the 100,000 sq ft that was available there has now been let to varying tenants.
“Although Six Centre Square has been proposed as a speculative office building by the developer they are currently in discussions for a pre-let of over 60% of the building.”
Four new tenants have committed to moving into One and Two Centre Square – built on the site of the old register office, and opposite Teesside Crown Court – which are GBB bank, XPS Pensions Group, global technology company Causeway and call centre group Firstsource.
Words: Stuart Arnold, Local Democracy Reporter
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