14th Dec, 2017

Second Friargate tower block to bring rooftop garden and cafes - but no tenant yet

Les Reid 23rd Mar, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

A SECOND tower block with pavement cafes and a garden rooftop is being planned for the long-awaited Friargate office development next to Coventry station – but a tenant to occupy it has yet to be announced.

Developers have unveiled how the second office block would look, while announcing they have submitted a detailed planning application to Coventry City Council.

But they and the council are tightlipped on negotiations over who might occupy the second building.

Friargate is now around a decade in the planning and the only tenant confirmed so far is Coventry City Council.

It will move its offices from traditional city centre locations into the first new 13-storey Friargate tower block now being built.

It can be viewed from a new walkway from the station towards the city centre, which opened earlier this month, and is scheduled to be completed next year.

The second planned block is a 14-storey building which will feature restaurant/café space to “create a lively frontage onto the newly-opened pedestrian boulevard in Station Square, and a large garden terrace on the southern side of the eighth floor”, say architects for developers Friargate Coventry LLP.

They say a glazed pavilion at the top level will offer far-reaching views across the city in all directions.

Several years ago it was mooted that the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors might become a second tenant.

Robert Maxwell of Allies & Morrison said: “We have designed a building with a number of features that will add interest: a glazed pavilion, terraces, balconies, a splayed elevation and active ground floor will all help to deliver vibrancy to the building and to the pedestrian boulevard that connects the station to Greyfriars Green.

“This building will also establish the character and scale of the future development within the overall masterplan.”

Covering 37 acres, it has long been claimed Friargate will create up to 15,000 jobs.

Among 25 new buildings, if ambitions are realised, would create 14 new office buildings, hotels, shops and restaurants, and new homes.

Stephen Reynolds from developers Friargate Coventry LLP, the development vehicle for Cannon Kirk, a European property group based in Dublin, said: “The new building will enhance the Friargate development bringing additional vitality at street level.

“The old Station Tower was fully demolished in January and now with the landscaped pedestrian boulevard in daily use, Coventry City Council’s building emerging from the ground and the second building in for planning, Friargate is really starting to transform the city.

“It is increasingly identified as an attractive and viable business location with considerable financial, geographic and lifestyle benefits.”

A council spokesperson said today no second tenant had yet been confirmed.

A spokesperson for the developer said in response to Observer questions: “The building is being constructed speculatively. No tenant has been confirmed.”

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