Is this what one of the office buildings in Callaghan Square will look like? As planning permission has been granted are they only waiting for a developer to come and build it now? I was hoping it would atleast been couple of floors taller.
I may be mistaken but I think that is the older of the designs for this site. I'm pretty sure if you search this forum for Callaghan Square you'll find another thread that shows you the latest designs. However, I'm also pretty sure CCC have purchased the land of MPEC as they want to build new council offices - in the hope that it kick starts the wider development of Cardiff's CBD
CCC are no longer buying it, the current developers will work with the assembly on it.
Is this 100,000 in addition to the 90,000 building that has just got planning permission and that is linked to Hugh James solicitors?
WG has bought the land. http://www.walesonline.co.uk/business-in-wales/business-news/2013/01/22/welsh-government-secures-enhanced-capital-allowances-for-two-enterprise-zones-91466-32656690/
also more good news about enterprise zones in Wales, although they aren't the best economic policy if there is one in Bristol we need them also to get an equilibrium.
If it's such a good idea then people would spend their own- as opposed to other people's- money on it.
What does Plot E04 cover? Is it just the portion on the south east side of the Square that was earmarked for Hugh James (and already has planning permission) or is it the whole of the south side?
I've looked on the MEPC website and there is no mention of CS which speaks volumes.
If Edwina hart is involved expect some brutalist shrine to Stalinism to be built.
It beggars belief it really does. Some see this as good news. I see it as a damning indictment of cardiffs commercial sector. We can't even build a prestigious office district next to our central train station. Well done wg on years of economic and financial incontinence.
Agree completely with Jantra
I just hope thing's would move quicker now and we are not left behind. To me 100,000sq office is good start, i just hope we see a good tall tower or two in close future, especially now that the WG has earmarked that site for private sector development
Jantra, I do think you are taking this all a little bit far. The WG have stated they do not want public sector jobs at Callaghan Square (although I think there is at least one small UK-wide public sector organisation there, the Equalities Commission). And there could be an argument for pump-priming.
I'm also not sure how the amount of new office development in Cardiff compares to the lower-ranking core cities of Liverpool, Newcastle, and maybe even Bristol. Since 2008, we've seen 63,000 square feet at Cardiff Waterside, about 180,000 square feet at Callaghan Square, 35,000 square feet in Driscoll Buildings, 60,000 square feet at Capital Link (Peacocks), and undoubtedly a number of smaller schemes.. I'm not sure that compares too badly. Its not great. And the existing stock is much smaller than Bristol. But just as its easy to succumb to boosterism, its easy to fall prey to undue pessimism.
Personally, I don't see anything wrong with it. If Cardiff is lacking in office space and businesses big enough to occupy them then the private sector isn't really going to invest. The stuff the Welsh Government has built or let be built on land that it owns is of an extremely high standard. I doubt we'll be seeing something quite as monstrous as the old Welsh Office (even though it is a rather powerful, statement piece brutalist building). Hopefully they'll pull their fingers out and get the plot out to tender. At least we'll know that it will go ahead once it is announced by them, not like the countless private sector pipe dreams that fill the planning departments shelves like a graveyard of ambition.
where have I said there will be public sector jobs in Callaghan Square? I haven't! What I said was that it is a sad indictment of our commercial market that we need to rely on English taxpayers subsidies* to finance the Welsh private sector office market. Cardiff's own indigenous office market just isn't strong enough to create demand - if it was MEPC would have built the thing themselves. It is a crying shame that our private sector just isn't strong enough so the only way to get this office block finished is public sector involvement.
The fact that we have an extremely weak private sector has everything to do with the preference for state handouts rather than development of a meaningful economic infrastructure. That is WG for you - The chickens are finally coming home to roost.
The bit about Edwina Hart preferring a Stalinist brute is probably true mind. power to the people, workers of the world unite and all that nonsense.
*WG are financed through English taxpayer subsidies via Barnett.
do you think that Cardiff's private sector market is so weak that it cannot build an office block near its main train station is a good thing? I don't. I think it is tantamount to saying that business has no interest in coming to Cardiff and that indigenous business have no interest in expanding. Yet some see this as good news. I think it is the sign that things are only going to get worse.
Businesses will be reluctant to occupy buildings leased from the public sector. If WG are involved you know full well there will be layer upon layer of needless bureaucracy, requirements to comply with all sorts of legislation including laws relating to Welsh before you can occupy. If you were business, you'll just set up in the more business friendly Bristol area where businesses are welcomed with open arms and red tape and bureaucracy is swept away before your very eyes.
Aren't Jantra's comments more realistic rather than pessimistic? If we look at those figures a bit more closely, it's pretty difficult to be upbeat about the state of the market for new office requirements in Cardiff in the past 5 years isn't it? I can't blame developers for not being interested on the basis of these stats:
63,000 square feet at Cardiff Waterside - at least half of which is still empty judging from a quick look as you walk past.
180,000 square feet at Callaghan Square - this has been the most successful example but let's not forget it involved the relocation and downsizing of British Gas and the relocation of a few other tenants from Newport Road (Deloittes for one).
35,000 square feet in Driscoll Buildings - still empty isn't it?
60,000 square feet at Capital Link (Peacocks) - went bust and could have been lying empty had it not been for the white knight of EWM
It feels that there's been multiples more office development within just 100m of Paddington station than in the whole of Cardiff whenever I've caught the train to London in recent times.
Aren't there a number of issues at play here?
Firstly there is not enough Grade A office accommodation. That's a given. It inhibits indigenous growth and also acts as a disincentive to inward investment.
Secondly private investors just don't have the appetite to build speculatively at the moment. There has been a severe recession for the past 5 years. Construction activity has contracted throughout the UK. Who can blame private developers not tying up cash reserves in speculative buildings when we hover close to a triple dip recession and with uncertainty about the economic landscape. I don't know for certain but I'd be surprised if similar cities to Cardiff such as Nottingham, Sheffield, Plymouth, Hull, Newcastle had much in the way of speculative office development going on.
Thirdly, the article suggests that there are a number of inward investors who want to come to Cardiff but can't find suitable accommodation. This is where the circle needs to be squared because if that is the case I would have thought MEPC would have been courting them. Perhaps they have, who knows what goes on behind the scenes. Perhaps they just haven't had enough reassurance to start building?
So on the basis that there is a lack of Grade A, that this is putting off potential investors and that the private sector is unwilling or unable to bridge the gap it could be argued that the purchase by the WG breaks down the main barrier to economic growth (at least for central Cardiff).
It's a given that its a crying shame and an indictment of Cardiff's economic frailty that developers are not crawling over each other to build temples to business over every square yard that we have. Tell us something we don't know. You were born in Cardiff - wasn't it ever thus? Can you remember the 70's and 80@s when getting a leisure centre built was a major achievement? Back in the days before the Assembly was anything other than a pipe dream.
The reality of here and now is that if there is to be new Grade A accommodation to be built it appears that it will take the intervention of the WG to do it. If this analysis is correct then the only question that needs to be asked is whether its better that the WG use public monies to build modern office accommodation or its better that they spend it on other things and leave development to the private sector when it has the confidence to develop speculatively.
I think on balance the purchase by WG is probably a good thing, the fact that they feel the need to purchase it to kickstart the enterprise zone is without doubt a bad thing.
Wizard, my point was that I don't think Cardiff has done especially badly in recent years in terms of office development, office lettings, and increases in vacancy rates.
And I do think its a shame we need public-sector-led investment. But if that can overcome a bottleneck, then it might be worthwhile. Karl hits on the key point about opportunity costs though. Would the capital tied up in a WG-secured speculative build be better spent on infrastructure or some other area of economic development?
I took Jantra's comments about Edwina Hart as a tongue-in-cheek reference to a project which would involve public rather than private sector employers. Otherwise its just an over the top pop at her.
I don't really buy this bottleneck. Capital Quarter has come to a grinding halt due to lack of demand. This is an a grade development currently under construction that could be completed within 6 months if the desire was there. It clearly isn't. You cannot tell me that moving 100 yards down the road to CSq makes all the difference. I don't think so.
The fact is that here is Cardiff and Wales we have a turkey for an economy. This is due to years of financial and economic mismanagement - doing our best to make the place as business unfriendly as possible. We have little or no infrastructure preferring new zebra crossings all over the place rather than new a roads, train lines and airport development. WG/Welsh Labour have failed and we really are seeing this.
You compare us to cities such as Nottingham but we have a clear advantage over Nottingham in that we are a national capital whereas they are not. Yet we cannot even use that to our advantage.
In my opinion our central square mirrors our economic and political ambition. socialist in nature: drab, uninspiring with little or no ambition beyond the functional.
you can see the positives in this whereas I cannot. Having to rely on state funding to build an office block in the CBD is tantamount to accepting that Cardiff and Wales has no serious economic future - not with the private sector. I will put my cock on the block and say I reckon if anything does get built by WG it will end up being either public sector or quasi public sector that is housed there.
Edwina Hart deserves all the flak she gets for making such an idiotic comment that we need to consider marxism. Your business and economy minister should being doing more than that to encourage business to come here.
I am certainly not a revisionist, I am a realist. Before I get into that discussion I want to make a point. I referenced Nottingham, I could have equally referenced Bradford, Leeds, Sheffield etc etc. The point was that people are continually making reference to those cities whereas I think that - given our capital status and all that brings (quasi political influence) - then we need to compare to other cities of comparable status.
The fact is that since devolution Wales, WG, Welsh Labour have done very little to develop wales infrastructure. To have any chance of economic success you need an infrastructure to support it. Carlos pointed out a few days ago that Wales has squandered obj1 funding - upgrading zebra crossings and the like. Compare that to other regions with obj1 funding and they have improved train systems, light rail, better road networks, better connectivity. The sort of stuff that fuels economic growth. Here in Wales WG clearly got that wrong and they chose to spend it on the wrong things. I am not saying that obj1 was a panacea for all ills, but it certainly would have given us a fighting chance to arrest the decline. Why wasn't that money used to create a LRT system north of the M4 bringing all the Valleys together? GWR electrification to Cardiff Central would then bring about full valley/cardiff electrification on to the UK network. Why didn't WG invest in CWL earlier? We have been saying for years on this very forum that CWL was falling further and further behind BRS. Why haven't WG focussed on developing our road networks - not just widening bits of the M4 but really developing the main economic highways into and out of Wales? WG have preferred to subsidise Air Wales flights from CWL to Anglesey - the one nation bollocks that we have to contend with.
Economic policy takes years to bear fruition. WG really have made poor decisions in the past and that is now showing with the lack of infrastructure development we have in Wales. The fact that we cannot even entice business into the capital cities CBD is an absolute disgrace. The fact that we need to rely on public funds to build fills me with dread. Not because it is state control - no! because it points to the very clear fact that Welsh businesses aren't expanding, UK businesses don't want to locate to Cardiff (enterprise zone tax incentives included) and out own developers don't have the capital or risk appetite to build speculatively.
you see speculative office complexes all over - M/cr has spinnigfields - it is rather significant in size. Wizard has alluded to more going on around Paddington than the whole of Cardiff. Unfair comparison - maybe, but you have to look at the fact that the only private sector development of note going on in the city at present is the 'once in a lifetime' build rather than the 'happens every year' build.
I think you misunderstand my point. Getting CSq built is good news. the fact that we have a weak private sector that cannot finish the job is my cause for concern. some think Cardiff is doing well. However you have alluded to years of decline and it is that sort of decline which are masked by this sort of development. Things are far from ok and people need to wake up and realise that unless Wales has a serious rethink about how it does business and how it encourages growth, we will fall further and further behind the rest of the UK
'There are understood to be a significant number of financial and professional services firms in London and the south-east of England looking seriously at bringing operations to the city.'
Understood by who?
These firms that are queueing up to re-locate to Cardiff- do they not know the phone number to any commercial property developers. Are they completely unable to acquire office space on a pre-let basis.
If these firms are so interested why is the Welsh government having to get involved. If there is demand a supply will usually be found.
FFS we have a half built office building sitting idle. Do we really believe that if the WG build their office down the road these firms will flock in?
Sounds like a quote from a welsh minister trying to justify why they are doing things the private sector should be doing.
If it's happening though - lets hope for a nice building!!!
Also - are we sure that the Hugh James building isn't still planned and welsh gov are not purchasing the rest of the plot or parts there of?
I quite like the renders in the planning docs above.
Instead of his seemingly endless whingeing why doesn't Jantra produce some actual concrete proposals for what he thinks we should spend the EU funding on (before Cameron and the Tories shaft us completely by pulling out)?
Not like we have been doing - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-15295224
But we could perhaps dual the heads of the valleys road - within a reasonable length of time - not the length of time it took glaciers to carve out the valleys in the first place.
or perhaps we could have been halfway to a South East Wales integrated transport network - with electrified rail etc.
Perhaps some innovative schemes to make South Wales more competitive in attracting businesses and inward investment. Investment in infrastructure around ports and airport.
Other eligible regions of Europe are far bigger, and more sparsely populated and appear to have spent money more wisely.
when the RDF was being spunked up the wall by Welsh Labour no one knew at that time that the Conservatives were going to electrify South Wales. Rather than spending on projects that offer little in the way of payback the funds should have been spent on projects that delivered better payback. That way you can then generate further funds to spend on the lesser projects at a later date.
by creating an integrated transport in South East Wales could help improve the economy of Wales as a whole much more than building a motorway to Aber from Cardiff (only said as an example). In the normal world where decisions are made under proper scrutiny, you look at payback and see when a project can become self financing. Creating better infrastructure in the economic 'hotspot' of Wales has to be the best use of funds initially even if other areas have a greater need for development. It should be about biggest bang for buck.
NB which party secured obj1 funding for Wales in the first instance?
where have I mentioned rail? I said light rail = trams. the sort that metrolink operate in M/cr.
so a few bypasses have been built taking people around towns but nothing that actually connects the Valleys to each other? that's exactly what I said so I'm glad you agree.
do you honestly think that Wales has done well off the back of obj1 funding? When you consider what other areas have developed? going back to 'heavy' rail, I'm pretty sure that if WG said to railtrack we'll pay for you to upgrade all of the Valleys network Railtrack (or whatever it is they are called nowadays) would have said yes. In politics, where there is a will there is a way. I grow tired of hearing 'it is not a devolved matter'. FFS nothing is devolved in England but they still manage to petition Westminster and get things done. As WEstminster had to match fund obj1 funding I'm pretty sure they would have been happy to see Wales pay for its network upgrade from that budget rather than Westminster having to allocate part of the SRAs budget (or whatever central UK budget it came from).
As I said, it was poor decision making with no long term thinking behind it. If the will was there to have done it it would have been done
Hugh James will no longer be relocating to Callaghan Square. That has been ruled out as they need to relocate by summer 2014 and that deadline is now too tight - largely as a result of Cardiff council's failed attempts to buy the land which delayed WG's purchase of the land by a few months. Instead, WG will now look for a development partner for the site. The WG will take a head lease on the office block until such time as a tenant can be found.
Any ideas where they will go?
As Lyndon points out not all areas are devolved and so that makes it far more difficult to deliver the intergrated transport system that we all recognise is a desired outcome. I agree with Jantra in that more could have been done in the first decade of devolution and that Welsh Labour was not focussed on business development but they seem to be acknowledgeing their error and are putting more effort into being more business friendly.
One mistake was dissolving the WDA but the intention of buying and developing the land at Callaghan Square is really the WDA policy of the 1970s and 1980s when factories were built to lure industrial inward investment. It is far easier for a business to imagine relacating if the premises exist on the ground rather than on paper. It is only one factor but get the others right and it may work.
The position in Cardiff and many other cities, large undeveloped or underdeveloped sites near the centre is fairly common. I believe that this represents a failure of the capitalist system as currently evolved and a lack of vision with our political classes who are beholden to unproductive wealth of the renter class. Property and banking bubbles have been the result. Property is sat upon and is not developed while the asset increases in value. Retail is charged ever increasing rents. Individuals are charged ever increasing rents.
Wales and the UK need to cut employment taxes and to replace the taxation with a financial transaction tax and a Land Value Tax. When land rises in value, the government and the people deliver a great unearned gift to those who happen to own it, it is not "created" by the owner.
The Welsh Government may not be responsible for rail infrastructure but that didn't stop them reopening the VoG line. On this one, I'm with Jantra. but the OJ1 funding did go to SMEs in my home county of Carmarthenshire, so I'm not sure that it is all 'wasted' money.
This is the second time I have had to say I am not talking about rail, I am referring to light rail or trams. You reference Edinburgh but that is a case in point what happens when you put the public sector in charge of managing a project they are very unfamiliar with. Why not look at M/cr or Nottingham or Sheffield for a light rail network. M/cr via metrolink has developed over 20 years or so and is scheduled yo be developed over the next 10 years giving upwards of 140 miles of track meaning almost 2m people will be within 20 minute walking distance of a tram stop. This has connected a significant amount of people, towns and districts over a period of 30 years. This is not rail, this is a tram network. There is no reason why WG could not have invested in a tram network at all. We could have done the same with the Valleys using obj1 funding but we chose to spend it on zebra crossings in the middle of Powys instead.
You really need to stop defending the poor decisions by WG. They made mistakes, they are left wing and by that very nature they don't really think about business strategically and that the economy needs to be strong. This is evidenced by the inept decisions they have made to date. WG and Welsh Labour put social welfare before anything else but you cannot have a strong society that can pay for all that is required if you have a junk economy. You need to get the economy right first and that starts with infrastructure. WG were always too quick to pass the buck, taking credit for free prescriptions making us the envy of England but always complaining about Barnett if we had poor roads etc etc. Cake and eat it springs to mind.
There is no reason why WG, CCC and VoGC could not have acquired CWL via an arms length transaction years ago but instead WG had our civil servants working on schemes such as how to implement the carrier bag tax. (A charge levied by a legislature is a tax - a rose by any other name is still a rose). The problem is that here in Wales we have certain people - you included - who cannot see that Welsh Labour have failed the people of Wales considerably making incredibly poor decisions along the way that has set us back considerably. The best thing the electorate can do is vote them out. It really does not matter is who is voted it, it could be the hard left stalinist party of Wales - the point is Welsh Labour need to be made aware there are consequences for political failure and these means a loss of power. Only if we have at the very least two party politics in Wales will be perhaps start to see an improvement in our AMs performance levels for the good of the nation as a whole.
or alternatively we can keep voting in Welsh Labour, protect our benefits but become ever reliant on English wealth via tax redistribution to pay for our lowering standards of living. I know i'd prefer us to stand on our own two feet, I appreciate not everyone else wishes to do so.
Hugh James will remain and expand within Hodge House. Legal and General, however, may have a need for more (new) office space...
Quick question: Why did you feel the need to completely reproduce the renders of the previous poster? Wouldn't it have been easier to simply say you liked them??
We've seen some of those renders before haven't we ?
I like them, and (shock horror for me) prefer them at the height they are at, mainly because of the size of the older parts of the scheme. There are plenty of other parts of the city where we can go taller, and if I'm being honest I'd just rather the whole thing was finished now. We have far too many empty spaces in and around the railway line into central and it looks shit.
As for Mick's post above re Hugh James and Legal and General, do you know if there is there any reason why HJ couldn't take the development going on at Tyndall Street or is it just a case of the wrong location for them ? As for L&G the local media is always reporting that they are looking at a new site yet nothing has ever happened. I wonder why ?
Yes kyle they are, they were taken from the council planning application that was approved in October. Phase 1 is to start this year so I hope there is no further delay to any of this.
Crow I was hoping for taller 30+ towers aswell but I guess the times are not right for such developments due to costs, we can still still build them in the future as there is lots of empty space around the city and bay. Also need to be part of a Cardiff city region with Newport and Merthyr for any large scale developments like that as our population in Cardiff is not really that big enough nor is our transport good enough.
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