Deloitte’s latest crane survey of Leeds shows that 2014 was a boom year for construction in the city. There were 14 new starts recorded in the survey. Ten of them are new-build developments, including the 202,000 sq ft Central Square development and the latest phase of MEPC’s Wellington Place scheme. In 2013, only three new-build developments were recorded.
Construction of office space in 2014 was 3.5 times more than in 2013, with over half a million sq ft of office space under construction, averaging 99,000 sq ft per office scheme. In total, there were six office completions in 2014, delivering almost 215,000 sq ft.
Additionally, 80,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space was completed in the city last year, as well as 532 student beds. Ongoing work started in 2014 includes the 400,000 sq ft Victoria Gate scheme and the redevelopment of the Merrion Centre.
With other massive developments underway, such as the £17.4 million southern entrance for Leeds Station, the survey results back Jeremy Clarkson’s Twitter comment from January, when he tweeted: “What’s happened to Leeds? It looks like New York.”
However, despite the city’s strong lettings market, residential development in Leeds city centre was stagnant. No new developments were recorded in 2014. In 2007, 3,800 residential units were under construction in the city centre. Although there was an oversupply during boom years, the pendulum has since swung the other way.