|St. Paul's Tower|
St Pauls/Conran Tower, November 2009.
Registrar's office and
the Yorkshire Grey public house
|Location||Heart of the City, Sheffield, South Yorkshire|
|Status||Topped out, cladding and interior being completed|
|Constructed||2006 - present|
|Use||Residential (retail in ground floors)|
|Antenna or spire||112 metres (367 feet) (Now removed from build)|
|Roof||101 metres (331 feet)|
|Top floor||101 metres (331 feet)|
|Floor count||32 and 9 (two separate blocks)|
|Architect(s)||Conran & Partners|
|Developer||City Lofts Group|
St Paul's Towers, (also called the City Lofts Towers or the Conran Towers), is a major development under construction in Sheffield City Centre, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. The scheme consists of a 32 storey tower called St Paul's Tower (Conran Tower, 1 St Paul's Place or City Lofts Tower), which is primarily faced with glass, along with a 9 storey block called St Paul's View (Conran View, 2 St Paul's Place or City Lofts View), which is primarily faced with glass, sandstone and bronze. They are linked at the bottom by one floor of retail space and a roof terrace atop the retail building. It fronts onto two new squares, Millennium Square and the as-yet incomplete St Paul's Square, soon to form part of a new bar and restaurant district. The towers and associated squares form part of the St Paul's Place, which also includes three office blocks, a multi-storey car park and a casino, and faces onto Hallam Square, less than 100 meters (328 ft) from Sheffield Midland Station. They represent just one element of the wider regeneration of the area around Sheffield Town Hall, known as the Heart of the City Project. The tower will be the tallest structure in Sheffield at 101 metres (330 ft), overtaking the Arts Tower by a significant margin. The tower and its smaller neighbour will provide private apartments for city centre living, with retail on the ground-floor of the tower, facing Arundel Gate and restaurants on the upper-ground floor of St Paul's View, facing St Paul's Place.
Planning permission for the project was first granted in October 2005, with excavation work beginning in May 2006 and construction officially commencing in May 2007. The construction process of the development was originally due to be completed by late 2008.
The development will include a total of 316 one and two-bedroom apartments located in two linked towers of 32 and 9 storeys. The project's design is conservatively modern, complimenting the surrounding buildings such as the adjacent Grade 1 listed Town Hall and the modern Winter Garden. According to the official website for the project;
The light and slender tower will incorporate a variety of complementary external treatments with the use of extensive glazing, warm stone cladding, (not often seen in tall buildings), specially made terracotta rainscreen, copper cladding and bronzed aluminium louvre panels, creating a distinctive and memorable scheme.— City Lofts , St. Paul's Building Design
On 4 July 2008, it was announced that the company leading this project, City Lofts Group Plc, had gone into administration. The insolvency follows from a series of large financial losses, spiralling lending costs and falling property market values. Although the St Paul's tower construction has not been immediately affected, a number of completed developments have been placed under the control of the administrators (Ernst & Young). However, the Sheffield residential property market has been severely hit by recent credit turmoil; Sheffield property prices have fallen 17% in the 12 months to June 2008, and with further reductions predicted.
On Friday 3 October 2008, the BBC Look North news programme reported that the exterior cladding for the main tower had been significantly changed due to costs and was causing concern amongst Sheffield City Council planning officials - and the wider public. Two well known websites that had been following the construction of the tower reported that the council was calling a halt to any more cladding being placed on the building pending a decision regarding as to whether the new design complied with the original plans. A revised set of design plans were drafted before being finally approved in December 2008. The new plans removed or modified certain features of the build, such as the removal of the spire and increased thickness of the window frames.