Waterfront UK city seeks private partner to create green urban space with 1300 homes

The Southend Council of Southend-on-Sea, Englandis seeking a private partner to help them transform an area dominated by outmoded residential towers into a revitalized green neighborhood. They hope to enhance the ecology and environment of the Queensway area, such as by planting trees and flower beds and adding water features.

The goal is to create features such as better residential offerings, an urban park, children’s play area, pedestrian and bicycle trails, and beautifully-landscaped public places.

The Better Queensway (BQ) project is a large scale development that will regenerate the Queensway area of Southend-on-Sea over the coming years.

Seeking to deliver improved housing and a better quality environment which fully integrates with the town centre and its communities, the project has encapsulated this ambition as: “Better Housing, Better Living, Better Place”.

The Better Queensway opportunity area extends to c.10.3 hectares (c25.5 acres). The site is located in central Southend-on-Sea, next to Southend High Street and within easy reach of rail links to London as well as local bus provision.

The site currently comprises:

  • Four residential tower blocks, built in the 1960s and containing 417 flats in total. Each tower is 15 storeys in height;
  • 24 two-story flats adjacent to Sutton Road;
  • Temporary public car parking for the town centre;
  • A separate public car park off Short Street which has been identified as a development site;
  • A number of properties in private ownership to the south of the site on Southchurch Road comprising a mix of commercial and residential uses;
  • Related highways.

Early concept rendering, via Southend Council.

The Council is committed to seeking a partner with whom we will develop a long-term relationship-working together to deliver Better Housing, Better Living, Better Place.

The Council seeks to establish a genuine partnership, where objectives are aligned, to fund, develop, manage and operate the new scheme.

The Council has developed a series of objectives / requirements that build on its vision for Better Queensway of “Better Housing, Better Living, Better Place”. These Objectives / Requirements express the Council’s aspirations for the scheme and the type of partnership that it is seeking to be established to underpin it.

The work would entail:

  • The expeditious delivery of a mixed use scheme, with an increase to the 441 affordable homes that are currently provided on the site;
  • The expeditious delivery of a mixed use scheme including the re-provision of the current level of affordable housing;
  • Delivery of a safe, vibrant, integrated and sustainable community that will impact positively on the economic and social well-being of the community, including the establishment and operation of a Community Fund;
  • Highways works to the Queensway, and broader network with improved pedestrian and cycling connectivity to the town centre whilst still providing convenient and efficient transport links, particularly to the seafront;
  • Accommodation of existing tenants and resident leaseholders who wish to remain, on the same terms and conditions;
  • High quality scheme with high quality homes throughout the development, delivering sustainability during construction and its lifetime;
  • High quality public realm ensuring all buildings are set within attractive useable open spaces in which people feel safe to live, work and play;
  • Demolition of the towers.

The partnership would entail:

  • A long-term partner to work with it to fund and develop the mixed use scheme and to fund, manage and maintain all public realm and retained operational units on the site;
  • The Council requires an ongoing role in the governance of Better Queensway with a strong voice in a variety of key issues;
  • The Council is seeking to retain freehold ownership of the land on the site, including any aspects purchased through the partnership and will invest the value of this land into the partnership;
  • The Council has some appetite for development risk. Any partnership developed should ensure that risks shared, or taken, by the Council must be balanced by commensurate reward. Any Council investment will need to be balanced by private investment;
  • The Council expects to receive meaningful financial returns throughout the development and the life of the operation of the scheme;
  • The partnership must keep stakeholders engaged and informed throughout the life of the scheme.

Deadline to declare an interest: May 10, 2018.
Preferred bidder will be announced by May of 2019.

All images courtesy of Southend Council.

See Better Queensway website.

Submit a proposal here.

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