Progress for proposed Chester Business Quarter

Posted on by John Cronin

Plans for a new Business Quarter in Chester have progressed with the acquisition of a prime development site.

Premier HouseManchester-based Muse Developments has announced the purchase of a 3.5-acre site from Lloyds Banking Group. The purchase price has not been disclosed.

The proposed Business Quarter, located by Chester railway station, is a major part of the ambitious, billion-pound One City masterplan proposed by Chester Council. The scheme is expected to create over 1,000 new jobs  and will see the development of 500,000 sq ft of prime, city-centre office accommodation.

Phase one of the development will see the existing Premier House building (pictured) demolished and replaced by two new, six-storey office buildings offering total floor space of 150,000 sq ft. The offices will be constructed using latest energy-saving techniques and are expected to achieve BREEAM ‘Excellent’ ratings. Lloyds, which has other large offices in Chester, announced the closure of its Premier House call centre in July, 2010.

Simon Reynolds, director at GVA, who advised Muse on the acquisition, said: “This an exciting opportunity which will enable Chester city centre to compete with other key regional centres such as Liverpool and Manchester. The new Business Quarter will also provide Grade ‘A’ office accommodation, which will be a market leader in terms of design and sustainability.”

Chester already has a significant development that has proved popular with the financial services industry. Chester Business Park, located 1.5m outside the city-centre, is a 175-acre site offering 1,250,000 sq ft of prime office accommodation. Tenants include Marks & Spencer and Bank of America.

Muse expects to submit a planning application in early 2012, with construction to start the following year.

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