Green light for further phases at Cardiff’s £100m Howells regeneration

6th February 2024 | Jack Oliver

Planning consent for further phases of the £100m redevelopment of Cardiff’s landmark Howells building into a mixed-use destination has been green lit by councillors.

Property developer Thackeray Group has been granted permission by Cardiff Council for phases two and three of the development, which include the creation of 61 apartments, the restoration of Bethany Chapel and Sunday School, additional storeys to the Percy Thomas Wharton Street block, and the partial demolition of the centre of the site to create new public realm, linking through to Cardiff Market.

Phase one, which already has consent, relates to the former Percy Thomas building at the corner of St Mary Street and Wharton Street. It is set to provide 25,000 sq ft of commercial space which will likely to be let to an office or retail occupier.

Thackeray Group is aiming to submit a planning application in the third quarter of this year to create a build-to-rent development above The Hayes and Trinity Street buildings to the east of the site. A further planning application is expected to be submitted in the fourth quarter for a 120-bed hotel and a food and beverage offering on the ground floor at The Walter building fronting St Mary Street to the west.

In addition to submitting the planning applications, Thackeray intends this year to begin the processes of stripping the buildings to shell and core, asbestos removal, and demolishing the centre of the site.

The Grade II-listed Howells building spans 275,000 sq ft on a 1.7-acre site, fronting St Mary Street, Wharton Street and Trinity Street in Cardiff’s prime shopping district near to the St David’s Centre, Queen’s Arcade and The Hayes. It comprises a merger of buildings of different eras originating from the mid-18th Century to the 1960s.

The development will look to improve public realm and connectivity in the area. Four gateways into the site will be created from St Mary Street, Wharton Street, Trinity Street and from Cardiff Market. The intersection of the new routes will create a new central square with a variety of spaces.

Giles Hoare, investment director of Thackeray Group, said: “We have an amazing opportunity to initiate the transformation of Cardiff by creating a new heart to the city. Howells is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to breathe new life into one of Wales’ most iconic assets.”

Antony Alberti, Thackeray CEO and his partner Brett Palos, added: “Howells will deliver an exceptional mix of uses, new homes, state of the art offices, flagship retail and leisure along with the restoration of a Grade II-listed building and extensive public realm.”


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