A prime office site in Leeds city centre’s creative quarter, which is currently undergoing major renovation works, is making further modifications to provide a safer and more hygiene-conscious environment for the city’s creative community in a post-Covid world.
Regional REIT embarked upon a £2 million refurbishment and rebranding of The Coach Works at 21 The Calls, Leeds. However, with the onset of Covid mid-programme, the company took the decision to invest heavily in measures that will make the building more resilient for the new working environment.
Formerly known as Chancellor Court, The Coach Works is made up of two buildings totalling 41,479 sq ft. It sits in the heart of a thriving part of Leeds now recognised as its creative district, which is surrounded by independent shops, trendy bars and diverse food outlets.
The ongoing refurbishment is on track to deliver new high-specification space over four floors, bringing together exposed features and modern design with new raised-access floors, LED lighting, air conditioning and a striking new entrance/reception. The combination provides an inspiring and unique office space in the heart of the Leeds Creative Quarter.
Ben Mitchell, Senior Asset Manager at London & Scottish Property Investment Management, the asset manager for Regional REIT, said: “At the start of the pandemic many companies adopted a work-from-home mode. But the creative industries in particular quickly realised that the home environment was not be as productive as anticipated. Apart from the isolation that comes from social distancing, home working does not provide the human connection and engagement that many creative communities thrive on.
As responsible developers we must instigate the changes necessary to make our creative workplaces as safe and protected as possible and, Whilst already excited about how the refurbishment was progressing, the pandemic led us to consider the more discreet adaptations that are fundamental to the welfare of occupiers.
“In close collaboration with our consultants, including KPP Architects, BNP Paribas Real Estate, TB&A and the main contractor JP Wild, we have quickly reacted with a number of design modifications that will provide valuable peace of mind.”
One such modification is the installation of Superloos that are self-contained cubicles with a toilet, vanity unit and hand-drying facilities. Whilst the Unisex design for sole occupancy reduces the Covid-19 risk issues, the team has gone one step further with touchless taps, soap dispensers and flushing equipment.
Ventilation has also been adapted with improved fresh air flow and extraction, and fully renovated, openable windows, reversing a historic trend of sealed-in office spaces.. The systems are of a twin-circuit type providing 100% air flow change for both fresh air feed and on extraction. External fresh air is also pre-heated to maintain ambient temperatures. The Coach Works now provides occupants with 20% more fresh air than conventional offices
The Coach Works is owned by Regional REIT and is part of their extensive UK property portfolio worth in excess of £700 million.
The new scheme is in a prime location for the growing technology, creative and media sectors that have made The Calls synonymous with Leeds’ finest talent. Located only four minutes’ walk from the train station and retail heart of Leeds, the property has a very good city centre parking ratio and a bike store will also be available on site.
Leeds-based creative agency Society Studios created The Coach Works brand as gesture to the heritage of the site as the former coach works for Wallace and Arnold, one of the UK’s largest motor coach holiday tour operators.
The renovation programme is expected to complete by week commencing 7th December 2020.