One of Sheffield’s biggest law firms is on the hunt for a new home – sparking frenzied speculation in the property sector.
CMS, which employs 250 on South Quay Drive beside Park Square Roundabout, has hired agents to come up with suggestions for a new site.
The Star understands it wants more space, to be more central and to be more attractive to potential employees. The firm’s lease has two years left to run.
A spokeswoman said: “We can confirm our lease expires in 2020 and we are in the very early stages of looking so we are not able to provide any further detail at this stage.”
Due to a shortage of space in the city, it is likely to have to move into a new building. Three projects are already in the mix, although they are still on the drawing board.
It is understood agents acting for CMS have contacted Sheffield City Council about possibly having an office block in the next phase of the Retail Quarter, now called Heart of the City 2, next to the under-construction HSBC offices on Pinstone Street.
Just over the road, also on Pinstone Street, developer CTP has plans for 4 St Paul’s after building blocks 1, 2 and 3, a hotel and a residential tower, over the last decade.
And Sheffield United co-owner Kevin McCabe’s property company Scarborough Group is about to start ‘Vidrio’ its fourth building in the Digital Campus on Sheaf Street, which includes the Electric Works, Ventana House and Acero, which was completed last year.
Other sites could be considered, or there is a slim chance CMS could stay put.
But although its current base overlooks attractive heritage site Victoria Quays, it is some distance from the city centre and particularly difficult to get to by car.
The firm, under previous names, has had a presence in Sheffield since 1990. Today it has 16 partners and 141 lawyers in the city.
The relocation plan is seen as a sign of CMS’ commitment to Sheffield and a boost to the professional services sector.
Late last year accountants PwC announced it was closing its Sheffield office, just three years after moving into 1 St Paul’s. Staff will work from Leeds, or home.