New Waterside Village In The Heart Of The City

by : Mark Ryder

At the 2.61 acre Granary Wharf site, ISIS is creating a unique waterside village in the heart of the city. Bordered by Leeds rail station, Holbeck Village and the waterways of the River Aire and the Leeds / Liverpool Canal, Granary Wharf will create a new destination for Leeds, bringing new residents, office workers, hotel guests and other visitors, including families.

The new scheme combines commercial, residential, retail and leisure space and hotel use and comprises three buildings, providing 282 apartments in two of the blocks, a 300-bed hotel operated by award-winning City Inn in the third block and a new public square - all set within a high quality waterside public environment.

The site, a former car park, has failed to maximize its potential as part of the city center on the waterfront. ISIS' scheme will transform the site, uniting the historic waterfront with the city centre and will improve connectivity between Holbeck and the City Center through the introduction of several new footbridges across the River Aire and the canal.

ISIS has also been selected by Yorkshire Forward to redevelop the Tower Works, Situated adjacent to Granary Wharf and known for its distinctive 19th Century Italianate towers.

Granary Wharf will give Leeds a quality waterside location for the first time in over 100 years. Our unique approach to development at ISIS will ensure that Granary Wharf will not be a gated community nor will it be a sterile series of housing blocks, but a mixed-use quarter where the public realm and built form is of a higher quality than any comparable scheme, and where the needs of all groups in the city are recognized.

The regeneration of both Granary Wharf and Tower Works will enable Leeds to have one of the best sustainable waterside communities in the UK.

The existing retail and bar units within the railway arches at Granary Wharf will be retained and complemented by further commercial retail and leisure uses in the ground floor space of two of the new buildings - adding vibrancy and activity to the waterfront. ISIS is targeting high quality independent leisure and retail, rather than national chains, for ground floor occupiers and is working with the existing commercial operators at Granary Wharf to include them into the newly completed scheme.

At Granary Wharf we want to create a long-term sustainable community. To achieve this requires real commitment on the ground, including intelligent design, a wide variety of apartments, a real mix of residential owner-occupiers, including families, a limit on investor purchasers and the offer of attractive terms for ground floor units to independent businesses.

Restoration of the historic graving docks will be included in the redevelopment of the site and will be made the focal point of festivals and family fun days within the main area of public realm.

Designed by architects Carey Jones, the development respects its neighbors, protecting the sight-lines of the Italianate towers at Tower Works, as well as enhancing desire lines from Neville Street onto the site. ISIS also selected London-based architects CZWG to design one of the residential buildings.

At Granary Wharf there are over 30 different apartment types available, including studios, one and two-bedroom apartments and three-bedroom duplexes complete with roof-top gardens. 10% of the residential element of the scheme will be available via shared-equity - enabling first-time buyers and lower-income families to purchase a home at Granary Wharf.

Unlike many other developments, where the majority of apartments are sold in bulk to investors, this sales event will provide local people with the opportunity to buy at Granary Wharf - ensuring a long-term community is created.

Granary Wharf has been designed to further the renaissance of Leeds whilst preserving the unique heritage of this area. The introduction of a range of landmark buildings set in the context of stunning public waterfront and integrated city center and the wider Holbeck Urban Village via strong pedestrian links will provide the catalyst for regeneration that the area has needed for many years. The master plan comprises a trio of buildings designed by a separate architectural practice. Whilst it is the clear intent to deliver a family of buildings, each will possess its own unique character. The vision for Granary Wharf will transform this currently underused site into a vibrant landmark destination for Leeds.