BUILDING work on the council’s new office HQ at Friargate near Coventry station – a major new city landmark – has been completed in time for next month’s move.
And developers have released new images to mark the occasion, including the first glimpses of how it looks inside.
It is hoped the new 13-storey tower block will be a magnet to attract other investors to the 37-acre Friargate ‘business district’ site, which has for over a decade been earmarked for up to 15,000 new jobs.
From next month, the building will be occupied by 1,500 Coventry City Council workers.
Two floors will be taken by up to 300 staff from the Financial Ombudsman Service, relocating from London.
It is hoped more agencies or government departments might be attracted to Coventry, including Chanel 4, as well as private sector companies.
Council officials and office workers will move from city centre buildings including the Civic Centre tower block (near to the Council House), which have been purchased by Coventry University.
In 2013, the council announced it would move its own staff to Friargate in a belated bid to kickstart the flagging project.
Labour council leaders have sought to re-invigorate the scheme since George Duggins’ replacement of Ann Lucas as leader last year, including cabinet member for jobs Jim O’Boyle,
Developers say the ground-floor reception of One Friargate area boasts a ‘showpiece staircase made from 35 tonnes of white concrete and a coffee shop that will be open to the public’.
Stephen Reynolds, of Friargate Coventry LLP, said: “Friargate is an extremely important scheme for Coventry and the region and I am proud to see the completion of One Friargate. It is an outstanding new building that offers tenants a new way of working and has helped drive growth, employment and inward investment for the city.
“One Friargate sets the standard for the rest of the 37 acre Friargate scheme – which will include 13 more office buildings, alongside two hotels, homes and shops, transforming the area around the station and providing a world class welcome for those arriving by train.”
Developers say the next construction milestone at Friargate will be the demolition of the site office on Manor Road early next month, which will clear the site for construction of the next office building – Two Friargate.
The building will offer 136,000 sq ft of Grade A space over 14 storeys, a glazed pavilion at top level offering city views and a double-height ground floor with restaurant/café.
Work is planned to start next year -but no tenant has yet been secured.