Developers behind the transformation of a Chinese restaurant site into student accommodation have secured forward funding for the £30m scheme and started work.
Planning consent was granted in November last year to demolish Maxi’s restaurant and build a 407-bed scheme on the one acre site in Bingley Street, on the edge of Leeds city centre.
Until recently, the site was occupied for more than three decades by the restaurant; thought to be the first purpose-built Chinese restaurant in the UK.
Gregory Property Group secured forward funding from Curlew Alternative Asset Management and appointed Leeds-based GMI Construction Group with a £21.5m contract to demolish the restaurant and build ‘The Refinery’.
The stepped nine, 10 and 11-storey scheme, designed by AHR Architects, comprises studios and bedroom clusters with terraces and gardens.
Facilities will include shared social areas, a cinema, gym, games room, concierge and 24-hour security.
Ian Scott, head of investment management for Curlew, said: “We are delighted to provide the forward funding for The Refinery. It will provide high quality accommodation for students and will be a further excellent addition to our portfolio of student accommodation across the United Kingdom.”
Barry Gregory, chairman of Gregory Property Group, added: “We are pleased to have secured funding for an immediate start on site. The scheme’s design is impressive, delivering high quality accommodation for Leeds students in a prime location that connects student life to the vibrant city centre in a matter of minutes.
“Leeds remains a top 10 university destination in the UK and with a growing student population of around 60,000 students the city needs more homes.
“We expect to complete the development in time for occupation from the September 2020 university term.”