Planning approved for Packaged Living and Fiera Real Estate’s £200m regeneration scheme in Southampton

Following a planning application from Packaged Living and Fiera Real Estate in December 2021, Southampton City Council approved the £200m mixed use development, Maritime Gateway, on the former Toys ‘R’ Us site on Western Esplanade.

Packaged Living’s proposals for the 4.8-acre site opposite Southampton Central Railway Station includes 60,000sqft of Grade A office space, 600 new homes, over 7,000sqft of food, beverage and leisure venues and over 86,000sqft of new public realm. Transforming entry to the city from the railway station, the plans also include a new walkway leading towards the waterfront named The International Maritime Promenade. Pedestrian-led public realm is incorporated throughout the scheme with The Maritime Gardens and The Central Park improving biodiversity through a carefully designed landscape-led approach.

As with all Packaged Living schemes, environmental and social values are at the heart of the design and the scheme will be targeting net zero carbon construction targets and selecting low embodied carbon in specified building targets.

As part of the plans to deliver 600 new homes, the residential blocks will comprise of studio, 1, 2 and 3-bedroom apartments benefitting from attractive roof gardens, residents’ lounges, entertaining suites and sea views. People living, working and visiting Maritime Gateway will be able to take advantage of improved pedestrian and public transport links as well as over 500 bicycle racks and over 100 new car parking spaces all fitted with electric car charging points.

The planning application also includes outline planning permission for the construction of one building of up to eight storeys for which the use has yet to be determined.

The site was purchased through the Fiera Real Estate Opportunity Fund V UK (“FREOF V UK”), the fifth fund in FRE UK’s programmatic venture series with CBRE Global Investment Management (“CBRE IM”). The Fund recently closed with £180m, bringing the series raise to over £780m to date.

Mark Woodrow, Packaged Living Managing Director, commented “We are delighted to have reached this important milestone for this vital strategic site.  Maritime Gateway will bring high quality placemaking and public realm having been designed through close collaboration with the Council and other key partners.

“The first phases will deliver a design-led mix of sustainable housing and offices creating a fitting gateway from the station to the waterfront. Later phases, which were submitted for outline planning permission, are intended to remain flexible in their use to enable the Maritime Gateway masterplan to remain relevant and deliverable in the coming years.

“In collaboration with the Council, we have agreed that student accommodation is not appropriate within this high-quality range of uses and will not be taken forward as part of this scheme.”

Since 16th March 2022, the 41,000sqft former Toys ‘R’ Us building on the Maritime Gateway site has been used by Southampton’s Polish Social Club as part of their Help for Ukraine appeal. The building is currently being used for the collection, storage and distribution of donations for Ukrainian refugees.

With planning permission now achieved, the former Toys ‘R’ Us building is set to be demolished later this year before the start of work on the regeneration project in 2023. Alongside new homes, new commercial space and impressive new public realm, Maritime Gateway will also deliver other key benefits to the city including the creation of over 500 new jobs, both during and after construction.