Callaghan Square development may soon be underway
The Welsh Government are in the final stages of planning the development of the south side of Callaghan Square, an undeveloped area on the outskirts of the city centre towards Cardiff Bay. Discussions of what to do with the plot have been ongoing since the government bought the site from property management and development company MEPC for £7.2 million at the beginning of 2013. MEPC have already developed office space in the area which is currently occupied by organisations such as Network Rail, Deloitte LLP, Willis Group Holdings plc and Hays Recruitment.
What are the Welsh government planning to do with Callaghan Square?
MEPC has already secured planning permission for office buildings on the undeveloped south side of Callaghan Square which the Government have now acquired. The government could shortly start work on a 90,000 sq ft office scheme estimated to cost around £15 million, and are now in the process of evaluating the shortlist of construction companies bidding to work on the project. The full site is 500,000 square feet meaning that once the new office proposed are built there will still be opportunity for further developments on the site, especially if the adjacent industrial units are included in future plans.
The construction of the 90,000 sq ft of office space is predicted to be completed by next summer if a construction company is quickly selected, although officials have said the end of 2015 is likely to be a more realistic completion date.
Cardiff Council also have plans for using the Callaghan Square site
Cardiff Council had been in negotiations with the Welsh Government to use the Callaghan Square site to build a new council headquarters, a convention centre, and an indoor arena, but with the office scheme proposal in its final stages it looks like the council will have to find another location for their head offices and new public facilities.
Other new developments in the area could create a new business hub for Cardiff
Last year, the Welsh Government acquired an 80,000 sq ft building at the Capital Quarter scheme from developers JR Smart in a £14 million deal. If the proposed office plans for Callaghan Square go ahead, the government would own around 170,000 sq ft of grade A office space in the centre of Cardiff.
As far as Cardiff Council are concerned, they have been working on their own developments in the area, collaborating with development company Rightacres Property for the Capital Square scheme which proposes to build around 800,000 sq ft of office, leisure and residential space next to Cardiff Central train station. Rightacre have already submitted their first planning application, for a 150,000 sq ft grade office scheme which they are hoping will attract inward investors.
The whole area is now being described as an enterprise zone which has already attracted some Cardiff-based businesses to relocate to new developments in the area. The Welsh Government and Cardiff Council hope that new companies will be tempted to move to the Welsh capital as Callaghan Square, Capital Quarter and Capital Square create an attractive new business hub in a central Cardiff location.
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