Sustainable property company Citu has acquired the historic John Banner department store as part of its wider commitment to the regeneration of Attercliffe.
Purpose-built in 1934 by the retail entrepreneur John Banner, the four-storey building on Attercliffe Road was seen as a key Sheffield landmark whose reputation was synonymous with offering a high-quality shopping experience.
Rumoured to be the very first department store to have an escalator, it created its own Banners’ cheques and currency to allow customers to enjoy credit in store, decades before credit cards became readily available.
After the Second World War, the business was sold by the Banner family and the 48,000 sq ft building was eventually converted into upper floor offices and ground floor retail in the 1980s, as it remains today.
Still home to 25 businesses, the building will now benefit from significant investment to restore some of the former glory to the building fabric, as well as bringing it up to modern energy performance standards.
Citu Founder and Co-Director Chris Thompson said: “We are delighted to confirm the successful acquisition of the iconic John Banner building in Attercliffe. This strategic investment marks a significant step in our commitment to investment in this community.
“The John Banner building holds a significant place in the architectural landscape of the Attercliffe high street, and we are honoured to be entrusted with its stewardship. Our team is excited about the opportunities this acquisition presents, and we are dedicated to preserving the building’s historical significance while introducing modern, innovative elements that align with our vision for sustainable development.”
Originally designed by local firm, Chapman and Jenkinson Architects who were responsible for various buildings around the city in the early 20th century, including the Cutlery Forger’s factory at Owlerton and The Star & Central Picture Houses in Sheffield, the restoration of the John Banner building will preserve the façade to retain its original features.
The John Banner building is a short walk away from the nearby Attercliffe Waterside regeneration project that Citu has a live planning application in for. The 23-acre urban scheme will transform brownfield land either side of the Sheffield and Tinsley Canal and aims to be on site in early 2024.
Chris added: “This part of the city has been under appreciated for so long, we wanted to prioritise the leisure and commercial elements that will bring new investment into the district as quickly as possible, and Banners is an integral part of that wider vision.”
Cllr Ben Miskell, Chair of the Transport, Regeneration and Climate Committee, said: “This is another really positive step forward for the regeneration of Attercliffe and the wider East End of Sheffield. The Banners building is a local landmark, and it is great to see that an imaginative developer such as Citu has seen its potential.
“Their investment here, together with the major scheme they are bringing forward at Attercliffe Waterside, the work linked to the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park and the substantial Levelling Up Fund projects, will transform the area into a fantastic place to work and live and is another perfect example of Sheffield being a city on the up.”