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Park Street multi-storey in Cambridge will close in January for redevelopment works

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Park Street car park will close in January until August 2024 after Cambridge City Council confirmed the timetable for regeneration works.

Artist impression of Park Street car park redevelopment. From planning app. Copyright: Marick Real Estate Ltd / Dexter Moren Associates. (50836025)
Artist impression of Park Street car park redevelopment. From planning app. Copyright: Marick Real Estate Ltd / Dexter Moren Associates. (50836025)

The multi-storey was due to close early in 2021 until 2023 for its conversion to a “premium aparthotel” with 229 rooms, a public courtyard linking Park Street and Bridge Street and a basement car park.

But the scheme was delayed after engineering company Sir Robert McAlpine said it was unable to proceed due to other significant schemes stretching its resources.

The council and development partner Marick Real Estate said they would press on - and Gilbert Ash has been appointed as construction partner to deliver the scheme.

This week, the council advised stakeholders about the new timetable earlier at a meeting of Park Street Liaison Group, which involves councillors and representatives of local businesses and residents.

Demolition work will begin in January, with the new car park opening in August 2024 and the aparthotel in March 2025.

Cllr Katie Thornburrow, executive councillor for planning and transport, said: “The council and Marick have worked hard to ensure that residents, local businesses and other stakeholders have been consulted and listened to throughout this process, including through meetings of the Park Street Liaison Group.

“We are really pleased to be starting this important project which will support recovery, job creation and inward investment in the local economy. The new building also supports the council’s commitments to reach net zero carbon, by moving away from gas power and providing improved support for electric vehicles.”

The new car park will initially provide 10 per cent of its spaces with electric vehicle charging points with the infrastructure put in place to expand this to 100 per cent to meet future demand.

The new development will be operated by air source heat pump technology (using only electricity and not gas) in response to concerns over environmental performance.

Park Street car park exterior . Picture: Keith Heppell. (50835974)
Park Street car park exterior . Picture: Keith Heppell. (50835974)

There will be a focus on reducing carbon emissions, by specifying high performance construction materials and ecology best practices to achieve the BREEAM environmental “excellent” rating.

The proposed scheme has been awarded exemplary credits in the assessment so far, which include mechanical ventilation heat recovery, air source heat pumps and solar panels.

Work has been under way to establish a development programme to minimise disruption to local businesses and residents.

The council says the site logistics have been carefully planned to limit disruption to roads, pavements, traffic management and other factors associated with a development of this scale.

Key programme dates are:

  • Planned demolition of the car park to commence in January 2022
  • The new car park to re-open in August 2024
  • The aparthotel and publicly accessible courtyard opening in March 2025

Some limited works will be carried out from this October including archaeological investigations, where the ground floor layout of the car park will be partially reconfigured. The car park will remain open until January 3, 2022.

Marcus Boret, director of Marick, said: “We thank the local planning authority’s team who have worked closely with us to satisfy all pre-commencement conditions, and we are pleased to appoint Gilbert Ash as our construction partner to deliver this scheme.

“They have been specifically chosen for their expertise in this type of work, and track record in Cambridge, and other city centre developments.”

StayCity will operate the hotel under its Wilde Aparthotel brand.

Simon Walford, Staycity’s development director, said: “We are delighted that following close consultation with all parties this project now has a detailed development plan and timetable which we hope will cause minimum disruption to the surrounding area.

“As a company we are excited about bringing our Wilde brand to Cambridge, which we feel will fit into the city’s strong cultural and historic vibe as well as enhance and broaden its visitor accommodation offering.”

Read more:

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Delay to redevelopment of Park Street multi-storey in Cambridge as contractor drops out

Permission granted for major redevelopment of University of Cambridge’s West Cambridge site

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