UNIHOMES MOVES IN TO NEW ERA SQUARE

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Student accommodation platform UniHomes has moved into the New Era Square development in Sheffield.

The company is now based off St Mary’s Gate in the centre of the city.

It follows a period of expansion for UniHomes, which has grown to a 40-strong workforce in six years.

Having acquired student utilities provider Split The Bills in December 2020, the new office space will facilitate future expansion for the business.

UniHomes directors Bradley Cox, Luca Mori and Phil Greaves said: “Fundamentally, we want to provide an energetic and innovative space for our team to work in. Having worked predominantly from home over the past year, we’ve already witnessed a really positive response and eagerness from those coming back into the office.

“We have no doubt that the space will not only help us to progress further as a business, but also nurture staff development and attract talent to the city.”

New Era Developments, OVO Spaces, colloco and Taylor & Emmet supported the negotiation, design and creation of the new UniHomes office.

Jerry Cheung, managing director of New Era Developments, said: “We’re delighted to welcome UniHomes to New Era Square. They are the first office occupier in the scheme and their creative fit-out really showcases the building’s incredible potential. We look forward to announcing more new tenants in the coming months.”

The £70m New Era development is targeting full occupancy by winter 2021, hosting a range of retailers along with cafés, restaurants and bars.

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GIANT PANDA SCULPTURE ‘HENDO’ RETURNS TO FAMILY

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The four-metre-high panda sculpture at New Era Square in Sheffield, which has recently been mounted on the rooftop corner of the scheme overlooking the city, has now climbed back down to the main public square – allowing more visitors to see it up close.

New Era Square is the 430,000 sq ft mixed-use development at St Mary’s Gate, featuring Grade A workspace, student residences and quality apartments. The ground floor boasts an array of new restaurants, global street food outlets and the city’s largest oriental supermarket, all located around a stunning public plaza.

Following Hendo’s descent last week, the public plaza at the heart of the scheme is now home to all the scheme’s iconic panda art installations. This includes the small panda sitting on a bench and another clambering up the side of a pillar – known as Little Mester and Coe Coe respectively.

Giant Panda

Jerry Cheung, Managing Director of New Era Developments, said:

“We tested the panda up on the roof for a few months whilst we applied the finishing touches to the rest of the development, and although it certainly made for an impressive skyline vista, we did feel he was a bit wasted up there.

“Therefore, we have made the decision to bring him back down to the ground level so he can become the real showpiece of the art installation and the public square. It is incredibly impressive up close and is already proving to be a real visitor attraction for us, with many people stopping to take a selfie.”

The pandas are the creation of David Wei of Hatch Architects and were named last year by readers of Sheffield’s local newspaper, The Star.

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NEW ERA SQUARE SHORTLISTED FOR PRESTIGIOUS PROPERTY AWARD

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New Era Square has been shortlisted for Outstanding Development of the Year at the Insider SCR Property Awards 2021.

The 430,000 sq ft mixed-use development at St Mary’s Gate, Sheffield, features Grade A workspace, 649 student residences, 12 apartments and two penthouses. While the ground floor boasts an array of new restaurants, global street food outlets and the city’s largest oriental supermarket, all located around a stunning public plaza with iconic panda art installations.

With construction now completed, the scheme has been bucking the trend in terms of leasing, and in recent months has signed up student lettings firm Unihomes – who have taken a full floor in the six-storey commercial block, a medical centre, ultrasound clinic and several new restaurants and cafés – offering everything from modern Japanese to relaxed Nordic cuisine.

The winner of the awards will be unveiled at the Insider SCR Property Awards Dinner on 1 September 2021. If successful, it would be the second year in a row that New Era Square has scooped up a prestigious prize at the event – with Managing Director Jerry Cheung winning Property Personality of the Year in 2020.

“The team and I are proud and delighted to be shortlisted for the Outstanding Development of the Year award,” said Jerry Cheung.

“We see it as recognition for all our hard work and it’s an honour to be considered alongside some other truly fantastic developments across the region.”

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£70MILLION ‘EAST MEETS WEST’ DEVELOPMENT IS GETTING READY TO OPEN

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Sheffield’s food and drink scene is set for a huge boost with the opening of the £70million New Era Square development.

New Era Square at St Mary’s Gate features restaurants, street food kiosks, the city’s largest oriental supermarket and shops – all located around a modern public square with iconic panda art installations.

From this month, New Era Square – which also includes over 650 student residences, apartments and penthouses, plus a Grade A office building and gym – will finally be able to fully open its doors and welcome visitors.

Developer Jerry Cheung said the 430,000 sq ft development promises to be an exciting destination for visitors looking to discover somewhere new and exciting to socialise following 12 months of lockdowns.

“New Era Square blends the dynamism and energy of modern China and South East Asia with the best of Western culture,” explained Sheffield businessman Jerry.

“Despite the difficulties posed by Covid, we’ve completed the development only two months later than planned and the site is now almost fully let. This summer, visitors can look forward to shopping relaxing, socialising and connecting again over food and drink in our vibrant and attractive public square.”

OISOI, Sheffield’s hugely popular Asian restaurant brand, has already opened its latest venue, OISOI Gathering at New Era Square, while another new addition, Yum Yum Bites, is serving up Taiwanese street food.

Several other new eateries, which are currently being fitted out and will open between June and September this year, include a stylish burger restaurant, a large sports bar and an elegant Japanese restaurant called Doki Kagoshima, which has ambitions to become the flagship Japanese restaurant in Sheffield.

Lykke – a Scandinavian-styled café – will round off the truly global and multicultural offer at New Era Square, serving up Nordic and north European cuisine.

New Era Square will open in accordance with government guidelines throughout May and June.

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NEW ERA SQUARE’S FAMILY OF PANDAS NAMED!

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Last month, the team behind the £66 million New Era Square development at St Mary’s Gate asked The Star’s readers to provide name suggestions for their eye-catching family of pandas.

After a fantastic response which saw readers send in dozens of different names, Star editor Nancy Fielder was asked to make the final, difficult decision.

So, without further ado… 

The panda that sits on a bench at ground level in New Era’s public square, is to be known as Little Mester. The term Little Mester refers to a master craftsman working on a small scale – famously in small cutlery workshops in Sheffield. 

The Second panda, which can be seen clambering up the side of a pillar, is to be known as Coe Coe – a play on the name of the City’s adopted Olympian, Seb Coe.

And finally, the giant rooftop panda that weighs an impressive 1,350kg, is to be known as Hendo. Named after our famous relish of course.

 

Jerry Cheung, Managing Director of New Era Developments, said:

“With New Era Square, we wanted to create an iconic destination that is unique to Sheffield and a public space that the locals feel a sense of ownership towards. So, we are thrilled to see that the winning panda names reflect a little bit of Sheffield’s special heritage and personality.”

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NEW ERA SQUARE’S JERRY CHEUNG WINS PRESTIGIOUS PROPERTY AWARD

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We are delighted to report that New Era Development’s Managing Director, Jerry Cheung, has been named ‘Property Personality of the Year’ at the Insider’s Sheffield City Region Property Awards 2020.

Jerry Cheung

Due to the ongoing pandemic, there was no celebratory dinner reception for the Awards this year, so the award was announced via social media and the Insider’s website.

The ‘Personality of the Year’ category was extremely impressive this year, with other nominees including Tim Bottrill (Colloco), Dame Julie Kenny (Wentworth Woodhouse and Sheffield Culture Collective), Richard Caborn (Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park), Alexis Krachai (Counter Context and Sheffield Property Association) and Lucia Lorente-Arnau (Sheffield City Council).

On his accolade, Jerry said: “I am unbelievably proud to win this award. I have the upmost respect for the other nominees in this category – they have all made a huge contribution to the region, and many of them have supported me along the way. So, it is a genuine honour to be included in such esteemed company.

“It has always been my ambition to create something unique for Sheffield and make a long-term positive contribution to the city I call I love. I am very proud of what myself and my brilliant team have achieved so far with New Era Square, and there is more to come.”

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GIANT ROOFTOP PANDA SCULPTURE INSTALLED AT NEW ERA SQUARE

Giant Panda at New Era Square Rooftop
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A giant panda sculpture was installed at New Era Square – the £66 million modern Asia-inspired development at St Mary’s Gate and Yorkshire’s newest public space.

Part of the site’s wider art installation, the largest panda, which is an impressive four metres high, has been mounted on the rooftop corner of New Era Square’s core office building.

Giant Panda in the air

The panda is a symbol for friendship and peace in Chinese culture, and the joyful display is now clearly visible to Sheffield’s public when approaching from the city centre or driving by on the ring road.

The scheme’s construction contractor, Bowmer + Kirkland, were given the delicate task of hoisting the panda, which weighs a whopping 1,350kg – about the same as a car – onto its new rooftop home. The panda’s final resting point is over 97 metres from the ground.

Bowmer + Kirkland’s Regional Director, Christian Parnell, commented:

“The New Era Square scheme has been a major project for us since we started on site in November 2015. I’d like to think that the entire project team, including our client, have become friends and it is fitting, therefore, that the final part of the scheme is to lift the panda,  symbol of friendship, onto the roof of the building. It has been a privilege to be involved with this development.”

The main panda, along with two smaller pandas – one clambering up the side of a pillar and one resting on a bench – is the creation of David Wei of Hatch Architects. A UK-qualified architect, Wei is renowned for producing visually inspiring art works for flagship Chinese developments.

Upon arriving in the UK last month, the panda was then fabricated by local Sheffield firm Campbell Design and Engineering Ltd.

Jerry Cheung and Rongmin Qin, Directors at New Era Development (UK) Ltd

Rongmin Qin, Executive Director at New Era Developments, said:

“With New Era Square, our ambition has always been to deliver a true example of what modern Asia has to offer. Going far beyond the classic China Town experience in the UK, the development marries the excitement and dynamism of modern Asia with the best of Western culture.

“We also wanted to create something special for the city of Sheffield. Now more than ever, we are seeing the important role that open public spaces within our busy urban environment play in our mental health and wellbeing. We believe that New Era Square and its bold art installations is truly unique in the UK and complements Sheffield’s creative personality perfectly.

“It’s an iconic new landmark for residents and visitors.”

Finishing touches are currently being added to the square, which supports the long-term aim to better connect London Road with the City Centre. The development also features a mix of quality office space, apartments, contemporary restaurant and retail units, and an 83-space underground car park.

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£66m Modern Asia-Inspired Quarter Nears Completion

Jerry Cheung
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Construction work is nearing completion at Sheffield’s newest quarter – the £66 million modern Asia-inspired district at St Mary’s Gate.

The New Era Square development, which supports the long-term vision to better connect London Road and the City Centre, is aiming for a blend of quality office space, modern apartments, cosmopolitan restaurants, flexible retail space, and a landmark public square.

Finishing touches are currently being added to the square – set to be one of the most unique and stylish public spaces in the city. The 83-space underground car park has now opened at the site.

A family of large panda sculptures, which are to be installed on the roof and attached to the side of the building, have now arrived in the UK. The New Era panda sculptures, one the size of an SUV car, are being fabricated by local Sheffield firm Campbell Design & Engineering Ltd. They have been designed by architect David Wei, who is renowned for producing visually inspiring art works for flagship Chinese developments.

In addition to the pandas, a two-metre tall mirrored deer has also been installed at the building’s primary entrance – providing a striking welcome to visitors.

Jerry Cheung, Managing Director of New Era Developments, said: “We were marginally held up by coronavirus in spring but we’re now back on track and work is edging towards completion.

“Around 80% of the 649 apartments are already pre-let and we are in discussions with a number of commercial, retail and food & beverage operators about the opportunities we can offer them at New Era.”

OISOI, Sheffield’s hugely popular Asian restaurant brand, opened its latest venue, OISOI Gathering, overlooking the square in March. With the restaurant once again open and busy, they are currently exploring options for outdoor eating and drinking in the square.

Jerry, a successful businessman and influential member of Sheffield’s Chinese community, has also been working closely with the city’s two universities over the summer to ensure a safe and simple transition for Chinese students.

“We are anticipating the return of students in the coming weeks, which will be a boost for the local economy”, continued Jerry.

“We look forward to welcoming them to New Era Square. This new quarter in the heart of the city will marry the excitement and dynamism of modern Asia with the best of Western culture.”

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New Era Square able to offer tenants flexible solutions – both now and post Covid-19

New Era Square
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With the retail and food & beverage markets trending towards more open-air opportunities for the foreseeable future, the soon-to-be-completed New Era Square in the heart of Sheffield is ideally placed to be able to support prospective tenants.

It is undeniable that the commercial, retail and leisure sectors have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Fewer businesses are looking to expand their portfolio and many are starting to reevaluate how their business can function – and still be a success – during these unprecedented times.

What has become even more apparent during this time is the importance of pedestrianised outdoor public spaces in busy urban environments – in terms of social practicalities but also mental health and wellbeing.

Recent trends in the industry are showing that these open-air spaces and courtyards are now a key priority – for food & beverage companies in particular – as they search for more flexible, long term solutions.

Pedestrianised spaces like New Era Square allow for cafes and restaurants to put their tables and chairs outside, but also provide a more relaxing and secure environment to adhere to social distancing guidelines when shopping.

Rongmin Qin, Executive Director at New Era Developments, said:

“We understand the pandemic has been difficult for a lot of people. Here at New Era, we have taken meticulous precautions to help guide and protect our existing tenants in the scheme. With the square now nearing completion, we are exciting about some of them being able to offer food and drink outside – and starting to form the vibrant public square that we have always targeted.

“We recognise that there is an evolving demand to re-envisage public space within the urban landscapes for the foreseeable future. The major benefit of our brand new units, which are primarily set around the square, is that it allows us to work with tenants to develop more adaptable and safer solutions – all without dampening the vibrancy, excitement and enjoyment of the square and businesses within it.”

 

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Panda art installation set to complete ‘iconic’ New Era Square

Striking Panda Sculptures
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A selection of striking panda sculptures, which are to be installed within the £66m modern Asia-inspired district New Era, are set to arrive in Sheffield THIS week.

The New Era development – which will comprise new apartments, Grade A office space and a vibrant, cosmopolitan food offer – is nearing completion and three pandas are to be installed in the public square at the heart of the scheme. The larger than life sculptures will inject significant cultural interest into the site and help New Era establish itself as a unique ‘go-to destination’.

The New Era pandas are inspired by a giant panda art installation on the side of a shopping centre in Sheffield’s sister city of Chengdu in China. Although smaller in scale, the largest will still be approximately the size of an SUV car and will boast the same stylish geometric design.

The primary art installation will see the biggest panda – four metres high and weighing 1,350kg – sitting on the corner of the New Era roof. This eye-catching display will be clearly visible when approaching from the city centre and to those passing it on the ring road.

Elsewhere on the site, a one-metre panda will be climbing up one of the building’s pillars, while another will be sat eating bamboo on the square’s elegant bench seating.

In addition to the pandas, a two-metre-tall, mirror Stainless Steel deer will complete the art installation – situated by the primary building entrance.

Once securely on site at New Era, the installation of the sculptures will begin, with completion expected to coincide with the square’s opening.

New Era developer Jerry Cheung commissioned designer David Wei to create the pandas.

“What Jerry and his team at New Era are doing is exceptional in the UK,” said David, A UK-qualified architect and co-founder of Hatch Architects.

“This will probably be the first true example of a destination based on modern Asia in the country.”

Jerry Cheung, Managing Director of New Era Developments, added:

“Our intention has always been to create something special for Sheffield and the wider city region. New Era will deliver a flavour of the excitement, dynamism and energy of modern East Asia, married with the best of Western culture.

“The public square sits at the very heart of our plans. Now more than ever, we are seeing the important role that open spaces within a busy urban environment play in our general wellbeing.

“The inclusion of the panda sculptures aligns perfectly with the city’s originality and fun, creative nature. We are confident that New Era Square will become an iconic and landmark destination in Sheffield and even the UK.”

Once completed this summer, the wider New Era development will incorporate Grade A office space – including offices for the China-UK Business Incubator (CUBI) – and quality places for food and drink.

A total of 686 student apartments and several private apartments are already complete and occupied, while a large oriental supermarket and OISOI, Sheffield’s premier Asian restaurant brand, have already opened.

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