The future of huge John Street office development in Cardiff is what people think is a car park

Around the corner from Cardiff Central Station and the bustling high streets of the city centre, hundreds if not thousands of people pass through John Street every day. It is the site of a massive new office development, which is certainly impressive in terms of its size and manages to draw the eye despite being one of several ongoing projects in the capital.

The only problem is that, for months, it seems no one is quite sure what’s happening on the site. For over a year, the development has remained unchanged, at least from the outside, with its massive concrete frame, leading some to comment that it looked more like a multi-storey car park than a trendy new office block. Looks.

The project is actually one of the largest developments in Cardiff, with 10 floors and over 100,000 square feet of Grade A office space under construction. Receive the latest news from Cardiff on projects and more, sent straight to your inbox by signing up to our newsletters.

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Developer JR Smart has already given 370,000 square feet of offices next door to the seven-acre Capital Quarter development. The John Street site comprises three interlocking high-rise blocks, with a new hotel that the developers intend to build as part of a 27-story building that has also been pushed forward.

When finished, the office block at 1 John Street will be able to accommodate 1,000 workers. It is not yet known who will occupy the building upon completion of the project, but agent Knight Frank says it is in “advanced discussions” with several potential occupants.

John Street site in May 2021
(Image: WellsOnline / Rob Brown)
Site In June 2022 After Work Stalled For Months
Site in June 2022 after work stalled for months
(Image: WellsOnline)

Work on the site began in 2019 and was initially scheduled to be completed by the third quarter of 2022. However, the project was put on hold due to the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, meaning only the building’s frame is completed.

Now, JR Smart has confirmed that they are resuming work on the site. It is now expected to take another 18 months to complete the internal works as well as the external cladding, which means the project will be completed by the end of 2023.

The office plan will feature a variety of amenities, including a tenant’s business lounge, coffee shop, secure bicycle storage and a yoga suite. The design also includes a 3,500-square-foot rooftop terrace, which will give the occupants of the building some spectacular views of the city and beyond.

What The Office Block Will Look Like When Completed
What the Office Block Will Look Like When Completed
(Image: WellsOnline)

With the office sector rapidly adapting to the post-COVID world and the use of a hybrid working model increasing dramatically, the demand for quality office space has also increased significantly. Letting agents for the John Street site described the block as an “excellent fit” for employers, with the feature-rich building benefiting from the city center location, good transportation links and strong ESG credentials.

A Knight Frank spokesperson on behalf of JR Smart said: “We have taken stock of how the office sector has grown in the post-COVID world. We are fully committed to this plan and have worked very hard with our professional team to ensure that we reflect in our design what the occupants want from their office space.

“Through discussions with both our team and occupants it is clear that the space being sought needs to meet a number of criteria – we have continued to optimize the market and we are excited that we will be able to meet all the demands of ESG. We are able to complete, build the facility and will provide first class location. We have several occupants with whom we are currently in advanced discussions.”

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