Leeds ‘jewel in the crown’ snapped up by developer

Leeds Corn Exchange. Photo by Callum Ronan
Leeds Corn Exchange. Photo by Callum Ronan
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A landmark building which dates back to the 19th century has been bought by a developer as part of plans to rejuvenate a key city centre area.

Rushbond bought the grade one listed Leeds Corn Exchange for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition follows its purchase of the First White Cloth Hall in Kirkgate, which is near the Corn Exchange.

Rusbond plans to redevelop the cloth hall working alongside Leeds City Council, City Fusion and other interest groups.

Mark Finch, real estate director at Rushbond, said: “We feel incredibly privileged that we’ve been able to add the stunning Leeds Corn Exchange to our portfolio.

“It is a magnificent building that is home to a wide variety of independent shops and businesses. Alongside Kirkgate Market, Leeds Corn Exchange has played a hugely prominent part in the history of Leeds, and its role in the renaissance of this part of the city will be pivotal. There are exciting and transformational times ahead for this historic area of the city.”

Rushbond has invested in a number of Yorkshire’s heritage buildings, including the redevelopment of Crispin Lofts in Leeds’s Northern Quarter and St. Leonard’s Place in York.

Leeds Corn Exchange was built by renowned Leeds architect Cuthbert Brodrick in 1863, and is one of only three remaining Corn Exchanges still functioning as a centre for trade in Britain.

The building sits at the top of Call Lane, and acts as one of two heritage ‘book-ends’ of Boar Lane, along with the Majestic building, which is also owned by Rushbond. It secured planning permission to turn the Majestic into offices last year.

Described as the city’s “jewel in the crown”, the Corn Exchange was restored in a £1.5m refit and reopened to the public in 2008. The centre is now home to a variety of independent businesses, with some 30 shops, cafés and salons operating under its domed roof.

Rushbond declined to reveal what it plans to do with the building or give details about plans for the wider area.

Savills, the current property management agents, have been retained and will continue to take charge of the building’s day-to-day operations. CBRE acted on the transition.

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