Plans submitted for Leicester aparthotel

George Sell George Sell Uploaded 18 December 2017

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UK: Developer Aimrok Holdings has submitted plans for a 92-key aparthotel on the upper floors of Leicester’s Fenwick building.

The company and its planning consultant, Hybrid Planning & Development, have applied to remodel and convert the upper floors of the building into an aparthotel with a rooftop bar, which will be the focal point of the development.

The planning applications sit alongside separate applications for planning and listed building consent relating to the conversion of the ground floor into four retail units, all to be managed by commercial agents, Space Retail Property Consultants.

Subject to approval, the scheme will include studio, one- and two-bedroom units designed to bring out the period detail of the building in each room, using existing features wherever possible. A rooftop bar will be formed from a single storey extension and will be available to guests staying in the apartments along with private members.

Aimrok's Jason Sobey said: "We bought the building because it is a historical landmark for Leicester and we wanted to ensure it would remain a significant destination within the city. Our vision is to create a contemporary, exclusive development, similar to the hugely successful Gotham Hotel in Manchester, which sympathetically combines the heritage of the building whilst giving it a new lease of life. We considered it of extreme importance to retain city-based architects who would not only understand the importance of the building locally but who could also develop a creative and sustainable design to stand out in the modern marketplace. We believe rg+p has achieved the perfect blend and are excited to see the development enter the next phase."

Located in a conservation area, the building dates back to 1880 and was designed by well-known Victorian architect, Isaac Barradale. Part of the building, along Market Street and at the junction with Belvoir Street, is grade II listed.

Leicester's mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby, said: "I very much welcome these plans, particularly the inclusion of a 92-room aparthotel. This will be great for business users and families visiting the city and will offer an alternative to a more conventional hotel stay. With rg+p, the developer has chosen a long-established, local firm with a very successful track record. The former Fenwick's building is an important and much-loved part of the city's heritage, and I am very pleased to see these exciting plans progressing so quickly."

James Badley, director at rg+p, added: "The proposed scheme has been carefully considered to sensitively restore the existing distinctive façades whilst creating high quality, luxury accommodation. We've worked closely with the planning team at Leicester City Council, conducting visual impact assessments to ensure the scheme complements the existing vernacular. Materials such as copper panelling, stainless steel and powder coated window frames have been incorporated to achieve this. Working on this project represents a fantastic opportunity to continue our investment in our home city; where our influence can be seen on much of the surrounding cityscape. We're pleased to be part of the team transforming this iconic building for the future."

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