Indie opportunities at Devonshire Gardens
INDIE PEOPLE | 27/9/2021
Indie opportunities at Devonshire Gardens
Recently we heard from our IndiePartner, First Base, which hosted an exclusive virtual walkthrough for our members, about its plans to redevelop the Travis Perkins site on Devonshire Road. Project Director, Doug Higgins and Head of Engagement, Liam Ronan-Chlond, outlined their plans for ‘Devonshire Gardens’ in further detail to members.
First Base specialises in placemaking and delivering long-term social value through new workspace, homes, and community spaces. In partnership with investors and local landowners, RPMI Railpen, First Base has recently submitted a planning application for the Devonshire Road site, to build 100 new homes for rent with 120,000 sq ft of commercial space, supported by a new public park and community amenities.
The biodiversity across the site will be enhanced with a net gain of almost 400% once the proposed
development and new public park is completed, with new trees, animal habitats, plants and an innovative community food-growing space. The centrepiece of the park will see a locally-designed, timber public pavilion, playing host to local events, arts and culture all year round, whatever the weather. Homes will be solely for rent and will be managed by RPMI Railpen for the long-term, as a professional landlord. Alongside a range of flexible workspace, the proposed development will feature a variety of community amenities, including a community kitchen, library of things and community arts space.
Following the walkthrough, our members had the opportunity to ask questions – see the main points made during the Q&A session below.
Q: How will the mix of office space and shop space work?
A: The office space will be a mix of flexible co-working spaces and more traditional longer-term lets. The upper floors of the office buildings will be for the long-term lettings to both larger and smaller businesses and individuals. The ground floor will be largely open to the public to allow them to work remotely and also hire flexible meeting rooms for all sorts of purposes.
Q: When do you plan to move into the site?
A: The site is currently occupied by Travis Perkins which is in the process of relocating, with plans to leave the site in the first quarter of 2023. We plan to begin building our development the day after Travis Perkins vacates and will hopefully open in 2025.
Q: How will the site connect to the Chisholm Trail?
A: We have made generous allowances to accommodate and fully integrate with the Chisholm Trail on both our western (Devonshire Road) and eastern (railway edge) boundaries by providing a large setback of the buildings giving more space to both pedestrians and cyclists, as well as a bicycle hub, providing internal secure bicycle parking, that can be accessed from both directions. Furthermore, we will provide excellent external lighting and ground floor uses that will ensure the routes are safe and well overlooked. However, the ultimate route of the Trail is not within our control and is in fact dependent on agreements being reached by third parties on the connecting parcels of land to our north and south.
Q: Will there be the opportunity for local furniture makers and suppliers to fit-out the offices and residences?
A: The fit-out of the office spaces and residential apartments will be the responsibility of renters. We do have opportunity to fit-out the community spaces and meeting rooms on the ground floor, as well as the public open spaces with locally designed furniture and fixtures, and are open to hearing from all local businesses to discuss fit-outs.
Q: How can I book a meeting room if I wish to use one for a client meeting or personal occasion?
A: There will be a community app for the booking of the site facilities that will be available to anyone and everyone. The app will permit users to book spaces and connect with each other providing a new community platform for collaboration.
Q: Will there be an allowance for the night time economy and can the pavilion be used for arts purposes?
A: The pavilion can be flexible to accommodate a range of different purposes, including the arts, and we will encourage the community to look to use the pavilion for performance purposes once built and open to the public. There will be an allowance for the night time economy, however this will need to be sensitively managed so as not to disturb local residents.
More information about Devonshire Gardens can be found on:
If you would like to speak to First Base or have any queries about the site please email: