City One developer in talks with casino operators to create £500m mix of Las Vegas glitter and regeneration.
The huge City One development in Leeds has doubled in value to £500m ahead of a possible bid to become one of eight “supercasinos” proposed in the government’s new gambling bill.
Jan Fletcher Properties, the developer behind City One, is understood to be talking to a number of casino operators, including US firm Isle of Capri, over a scheme that would fulfil the government’s demand that any new casinos must create regeneration benefits for the areas in which they are built.
The developer has submitted a second planning application to the council after Carey Jones came up with a fresh, enlarged masterplan last month.
The scheme would total 144,000 m2 and include a 30-storey residential tower, a park and commercial spaces. The scheme has increased in size from the original area of 90,000 m2, which was first valued at £133m, then at £262m.
A spokesperson for Jan Fletcher Properties said the scheme had planning permission for a casino but would not comment on whether the casino would bid for “supercasino” status if the gambling bill becomes law, or confirm the identity of any potential gambling operator partners.
But the spokesperson did confirm that the development was a suitable location for a casino. She said: “Jan Fletcher intends to hold the City One site as an investment and operate the casino with a partner. She is in discussion with a number of operators, clearly bound by confidentiality agreements at this point.”
The plan for the expanded development includes 700 residential apartments and 54,000 m2 of office space. In addition to architect Carey Jones, the developer is working with cost consultant Gardiner and Theobald and engineer WSP.
Jan Fletcher said there had been considerable commercial interest in the site. She said: “Leeds has definitely been earmarked by international groups as a city they want to be in.
“We have the North’s largest city office site available, and are in discussions with corporates that are keen to relocate and have a focal presence in the city.”