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Leeds Gateway Set For March 2006 Start

The massive Gateway project in Leeds has seen the first two phases sell out in record time with all 256 apartments in phase one and two go. The unprecedented demand for the scheme in the centre of Leeds has seen sales split roughly 75/25 between people who intend to occupy the apartments they've bought and investors looking for a good return on their money once the development is completed, a catalyst that has also helped Clarence House get off the ground in recent weeks.

Work has already begun on site on the first two phases which as well as two residential towers will include a 218 hotel that is to be occupied by French chain, Etap.

Gerwynbryan, the agents appointed to flog the space in the scheme have also indicated that as well as the interest in the residential aspect potential occupiers are falling over themselves to try and take up the limited number of retail units on the mixed use development.

This will bring the total number of apartments up to 642 and include a signature residential tower of 26 floors, a revision from the previously planned 15 storey block that was shown in the original master plan as the developer, Scotfield, grows more assured of the eventual success of the project.

Designed by Carey Jones (who else when we're talking Leeds), who also master-planned the entire project, the tower element will contain 110 apartments reaching an estimated 82 metres in height.

The attraction of increasing the height of the building comes partly from satisfying demand, but also partly from the fact that the higher up an apartment is the more it sells for.

Using London as an example, the building cost per square metre increases from about 2,000 to 2,350 whilst the increase in revenue per storey jumps, in the case of Montevetro to almost double as the higher the unit the greater the demand for it.

Bearing these economics in mind and assuming the developer can moderate the construction costs it all adds up to greater profits if they can build higher.

It these economics that have been gradually driving the heights of residential developments such as the Gateway ever higher now that the first phase of residential buildings built in Leeds in the early part of the decade have helped erode outright opposition to tall buildings.

Buoyed by the success the developers are now planning to begin the final phase in March 2006 with the construction contract currently up for tender.

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The Gateway Leeds
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