Friargate Project Coventry – blog #2
Friargate Project Coventry – blog #2. Back in March 2016 I wrote a blog about this project in Coventry to redevelop the area surrounding the railway station.
Link to the original blog here.
The original blog was an opportunity to use a local project to identify projects as part of a programme of related projects. It was also a look into the potential stakeholders on projects. Now it is time to give an update of the overall project status.
Essentially finished, the building (called Tower 1 of a potential 25 buildings) which was just a core 18 months ago now looks a lot smaller and squatter. No other construction has started apart from road and walkways.
It was announced that a major tenant (RICS) was not only declining a move to Friargate, but moving out of Coventry altogether. RICS was originally to have moved into Tower 2, but scaled back plans to share Tower 1 before announcing a complete withdrawal from the project due to ‘slow progress’.
2 floors of Tower 1 will now be taken up by the Financial Ombudsman Service, around 300 staff will move into 22,500 square feet of offices in October 2017.
The city council will now not move all of their staff to Friargate.
The language used by the council and developers is now in terms of rescuing the project. In the spring of 2017 it was suggested that Channel 4 or other (unnamed) government workers could move to the site. However nothing has yet come of this.
Progress on the whole Friargate project is less certain, despite original plans for 25 buildings, including hotel, office, and for residential and leisure use, there is nothing to show except Tower 1.
Coventry Ideal Location
Coventry and Friargate provide an excellent location for development. Friargate lies next to the Railway station, and on the Coventry ring-road, at the centre of both England and the motorway network, and only 1 hour to London by train.
Regardless of the state of occupancy, and the derelict land offering future potential, the area is much improved from 3 years ago, and the project should be seen as the start of a success.
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