Major developments in Cardiff

Plans for the next phase of the Central Square regeneration scheme, with a new 12-storey office scheme that could house 2,000 workers and a public square featuring an outdoor cinema, have been revealed.

22nd May 2017

Plans for the next phase of the Central Square regeneration scheme, with a new 12-storey office scheme that could house 2,000 workers and a public square featuring an outdoor cinema, have been revealed.

The proposed 267,000 sq. ft. office scheme, is the latest project from Cardiff-based property development firm Rightacres at its Central Square development, located immediately in front of Cardiff Central Railway Station.

Backed by financial services giant L&G, Central Square will eventually see one million sq. ft. of new office, residential and leisure space built.

The public can now have their say on its latest £80m project, located on the site of the former head office and printing presses of Media Wales on Park Street and the adjoining St David's House on Wood Street, as part of a month long consultation exercise - ahead of a planning application being submitted to Cardiff council.

The proposed public square, on the site of the exiting St David's House which will be demolished, could extend to 33,000 sq. ft. to include:

An outdoor cafe area.Hosting a weekend food market and other events.Accommodate at certain times of the year an ice rink, as well as an outdoor cinema and a big screen for showing major events, like sporting.

The building, designed by architectural firm Gensler, would have on its ground floor space for retail and cafe operators. It will also feature car parking and space for bikes.

The new building, which would be 55 metres tall, is expected to serve as the new headquarters for HMRC in Wales, housing more than 2,000 staff. During its construction phase the project is expected to create nearly 400 jobs. Subject to planning work on the project could start this autumn and be completed in the final quarter of 2019.

In 2015 HMRC announced that Cardiff would be one of 13 new super regional tax centres across the UK. It will see 2,000 staff, currently located at its main Ty Glas operation in Llanishen, Cardiff, relocating into a new headquarters in two years' time. And the process of moving staff out of Llanishen has already begun with the government department taking 50,000 sq. ft. of short-term office space at Brunel House in the centre of the city.

Its move is being overseen by the property arm of the UK Government, the Government Property Unit (GPU). As part of a UK-wide property rationalising programme, the GPU is also considering bringing other civil service departments in Wales under one roof.

Following the expected HMRC relocation, the GPU could launch a new competitive tender exercise for developers to submit plans for new office schemes to house other non-devolved civil service departments.

As part of a wider master planning of Central Square next to the 12-storey building there are plans for a smaller 180,000 sq. ft. office scheme running up to the existing Media Wales building.

Along with other locations it could be a bidder if the GPU pushes ahead with further office rationalisation plans for departments such as the Ministry of Justice and the Department for Work and Pensions.

Rhydian Morris of the Cardiff office of property advisory firm JLL, who is acting for the GPU, declined to comment when asked if the building would serve as the HQ for HMRC in Wales.