16th September 2022

Helmsley Group reveals vision for 250,000 sq ft city centre development

Helmsley Group has revealed its vision for a major regeneration project in the heart of York.

Coney Street Riverside is the latest scheme from the York-based company, which has been developing across the city for over 40 years, and which has sensitively delivered prominent projects across York’s riverfront, including Merchant’s Exchange, the Old Fire Station and Westgate.

The masterplan to date has been shaped collaboratively with input from key city stakeholders. Proposals will be on display for feedback from the public from 12th September at 29-31 Coney Street, home to the University of York’s Street Life project.

Comprising units 1-7, 19-33 and 39-43 Coney Street, the development looks to build on the street’s long heritage as a thriving hub of commerce, culture and community whilst opening it up and reconnecting this area of the city with the River Ouse.

Centred around three pillars of economic, social and environmental sustainability, the benefits of the scheme will include the creation of new jobs in the city, further investment into the tourism and leisure sectors and increased retail footfall.

Proposals include the creation of 250,000 sq ft of mixed-use retail, leisure, commercial, and residential space, a riverside walkway and the establishment of significant green and accessible public realm, both on the waterfront itself and also through the creation of new access routes between Coney Street and the riverfront.

As well as creatively repurposing previously underutilised vacant upper floors for residential and commercial use, the scheme will also deliver new build elements providing additional student accommodation.

The plans are the realisation of a 50 year ambition to create a riverside walkway and will further bolster York’s recently secured title as the best city to visit in the UK.

Max Reeves, development director at Helmsley Group, said: “Our Coney Street Riverside plans are the culmination of a strategic programme of site assembly over the last three years. We’re now ready to share our vision to sustainably redevelop this historic thoroughfare into the social heart of York, creating new public realm for the city whilst ensuring that the history and heritage of the area is not just recognised, but honoured and protected.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sensitively preserve Coney Street’s story, while blending new architecture seamlessly with the area’s unique historical and cultural heritage for future generations to enjoy and benefit from. Since as far back as the Roman times, the River Ouse has played a fundamental role in shaping York’s history, and we want to honour that special connection by reconnecting this currently under loved area of the city centre with the riverside that it once benefitted so much from.”

Max added: “Our vision is to create an accessible, welcoming and vibrant city centre destination for visitors and the local community to enjoy and for Coney Street Riverside to act as a positive catalyst for city-wide inward investment.”

The public engagement exhibition will take place from 12th September to 3rd October at 29-31 Coney Street, home of the Street Life project run by the University of York, which seeks to bring the history of Coney Street back to life through a series of public engagement events.

Feedback from the exhibition will be used to further shape Helmsley’s vision for Coney Street Riverside, with a planning application expected to be submitted to City of York Council in the autumn.

For more information about the development or to have your say on the plans, visit: www.coneystreetriverside.co.uk.

For more information on Helmsley Group, visit: https://helmsley.co.uk/.

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