St. Pauls Tower

St Paul's Tower (also called the City Lofts Tower or the Conran Tower) and St Paul's View, is a major development nearing completion in the city centre of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England.


The scheme consists of a 32 storey tower called St Paul's Tower, which is primarily faced with glass, along with a 9 storey block called St Paul's 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 St Paul's Square, part of a new bar and restaurant district. The towers and associated squares form part of the St Paul's Place development, which also includes other three office blocks, a multi-storey car park and a casino, and faces onto Hallam Square, less than 100 metres (330 ft) from Sheffield railway 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 became the tallest building in Sheffield when completed in August 2010, at 101 metres (331 ft), overtaking the Arts Tower by a significant margin. The tower and its smaller neighbour provides 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.


Development

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 includes 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;


Collapse of City Lofts Group Plc

On 4 July 2008, it was announced that the company leading this project, City Lofts Group Plc, had gone into administration. The insolvency followed from a series of large financial losses, spiralling lending costs and falling property market values. Although construction at St Paul's tower was not immediately affected, a number of completed developments were placed under the control of the administrators (Ernst & Young). The Sheffield residential property market had been severely hit by credit turmoil; falling 17% in the 12 months to June 2008.


Cladding controversy

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.

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