Including the Civic Car Park and surrounding public realm, the development opportunity consists of council-owned land between Hosier Street, Queen’s Walk and Castle Street.
The objective is to implement a major regeneration plan for the district for the years to come, with approximately 600 apartments offered on surrounding sites outside municipal property, as well as the potential for substantial investment by the Théâtre de l’Hexagone in the coming years – subject to the success of current government funding offers.
Reading Council leader Jason Brock said: “Minster Quarter Central offers huge potential to revitalize a key corner of Reading, which is also located at the heart of our hugely attractive town center – the region’s main shopping destination and a major transportation hub in the southeast. – and boasts our much-loved and ever-popular Hexagon Theatre.
“We are looking for a development partner who understands and shares our vision for this strategically important site and who has a commitment and track record of working successfully in partnership to achieve exceptional development quality and place creation.”
“This development brings huge potential in the form of new jobs and opportunities for local people, which goes hand in hand with this council’s philosophy of ensuring that everyone in the town can share in Reading’s success. “
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The Minister Quarter Central represents a development prospect for a 5.2 acre (2.1 hectare) site as one of the best mixed-use development opportunities in the UK with the potential to create a historic destination just a few minutes walk from Oracle Mall. As part of the wider Minister’s Quarter area, the Central Minister’s Quarter development will have a unique character and act as an inviting new gateway to the city center from the west.
Eddisons is conducting a bidding process for the developer section, on behalf of the council, and will host a procurement launch event on September 14 at 10am at the Hexagon Theater in Reading.
This is where potential bidders can meet council leaders and gain valuable additional insight into the economic powerhouse that is Reading.
The council’s vision for Minister Quarter Central is to create a high quality, sustainable and inclusive place that puts the residents, businesses, arts, culture and community of Reading first.
This opens up new opportunities for urban living as part of a thriving new community that offers a variety of tenures alongside a commercial arts and culture offering that will invigorate the public realm and breathe new life into this part of town.
Overall, this project also aims to contribute to inclusive growth, jobs and wider regeneration for the benefit of Reading.
As mentioned, the council’s current concept scheme for the central minister’s quarter has been designed to be mixed-use, with commercial and retail space to complement the new homes. They anticipated that the development would be carried out in two phases, with the first phase benefiting from the council’s successful bid of £2 million for the Brownfield Land Release Fund grant to enable the work.
A number of key objectives have already been identified to help inform discussions with potential bidders, including appropriate levels of affordable housing in a mix of tenures; a quality public realm, including a positive response to the impacts of the adjacent Inner Distribution Ring Road (IDR) on residents.
In line with the council’s climate emergency commitments, it will also be a zero-carbon development.
Subject to planning, proposals for the redevelopment of the Central Minister’s Quarter could include residential units offering a variety of private, build-to-let (BTR) and affordable housing, as well as a 90-bed hotel, flexible working and conferencing, and outdoor performance space.
A full technical information package including the planning and due diligence work carried out to date is available in the data room accessible upon request by contacting Javid Patel ([email protected]) or Neil Houghton (neil.houghton @eddisons.com).