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Occupying a significant 1.5 acre site in the city centre, the redevelopment of the former Charles Street Police Station in Leicester offered an opportunity to rejuvenate the wider area. The project brief included upgrading and extending an existing listed building, adding an extension and a new office and residential block to provide high quality office space and housing.
During 2004 the Leicester Regeneration Company (LRC) and the East Midlands Development Agency (EMDA) invited bids for the redevelopment of the former Charles Street Police Station site in Leicester. The 1.5 acre site is within the St. George’s Conservation area and contains the Grade 2 listed, though previously redundant, Police Station. The objective was to provide much needed Grade ‘A’ office space for Leicester City Centre and act as a catalyst for the first stage of the city’s New Business Quarter regeneration, a key part of the masterplan to transform the city centre.
Colton Square, will eventually help create up to 1,000 jobs, and is the first speculative development to take place in Leicester in more than ten years.
One Colton Square can accommodate up to six occupiers over five floors. Two Colton Square can accommodate up to six occupiers over four floors and one for the A3 restaurant unit at ground floor.
Car parking is in a secure semi-basement resulting in an elevated podium terrace and office ground floor providing privacy from the adjacent public footpaths.
The new office’s flexible open plan floor plates complement the more cellular arrangement of space within the listed building.
Connectivity between the new and old buildings is achieved by enlarging original window openings within the rear wall of the listed building, thus providing a continuous flow of office space. It also ensures suitable floorplate depths with the best use of natural daylighting and aspects.
A space planning exercise revealed that the listed building comfortably achieves modern day occupancy standards at 1:10 m².
The quality of the development has lifted office rents in Leicester City Centre from a previous high of £14.00/ft² to £16.50/ft².
Two floors have been let to two occupiers, Freeth Cartwright & Cooper Parry. Both have occupied the space for some time and their employees’ rate the space as ‘excellent’.
“Anyone thinking of moving offices would be mad not to consider the office quarter. Colton Square alone looks marvellous—it’s a building for the 21st century.” - Roy Botterill, Harvey Ingram
Large Scheme of the Year, Procon Awards 2007.