A steel frame marks the first sign of the 300,000 sq ft retail and leisure park which will comprise the heart of the £400m Thorpe Park masterplan.
The ambitious project is one of the largest schemes underway in the Leeds City Region and, once completed, will offer 140 acres of residential, commercial, retail, leisure and office space, creating a small town of up to 4,500 people.
Designed by The Harris Partnership (THP) for Scarborough International Properties and Legal & General Capital, THP lodged an application detailing the appearance, landscaping, layout and scale of the retail and leisure park in May 2016.
The park will be linked to a retail terrace of 25 shops and 11 restaurants by a 16-metre wide central plaza running east to west through the development.
PureGym announced earlier this month it has agreed to take a 17,000 sq ft unit for a large gym floor and class studios following Boots, Next, M&S Simply Food, TK Maxx and The Outfit in taking major stores at the forthcoming retail and leisure park, alongside ODEON with a 60,000 sq ft multi-screen, 1200 seat cinema.
James Richmond, Group Director of The Harris Partnership, said: “As architects, it is always exciting to see the first physical infrastructure begin to emerge on a scheme.
“That is especially so with Thorpe Park which, as one of the largest, most prominent mixed-use schemes in Leeds, is destined to make a significant contribution to the local and wider city economy.”
The £162 million phase two development has also been providing a host of new jobs in the construction industry.
100 new jobs and 10 apprenticeships have been created so far through the main contractor GMI Construction and
30% of the jobs have been taken up by Leeds residents. In addition to the new jobs, 10 new apprenticeships have also been created.
Thorpe Park Leeds is already a well-established 800,000 sq ft business park with over 60 occupiers including IBM, National Grid, Atkins and United Utilities.
Delivery of phase two is now underway to provide 1.35 million sq ft of mixed accommodation which includes a new 300,000 sq ft shopping and leisure park and the first phase of 940,000 sq ft of offices.
The development also includes 300 new homes by Redrow and a 113-acre public park with sports facilities.
Councillor Mohammed Rafique, executive member for employment, enterprise and opportunity at Leeds City Council said: “Leeds City Council is working in close partnership with Scarborough Group International, GMI Construction and its sub-contractors to maximise employment and skills opportunities for local people.
“I am delighted to see that there are already ten apprentices working on the site and we hope this number increases throughout the lifetime of the construction period.
“We also look forward to many more job opportunities becoming available to the tenants of Thorpe Park once the development is completed.”