Landmark Leeds city centre building sold

Toby Cockcroft, director of Croft Commercial,
Toby Cockcroft, director of Croft Commercial,
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MULTI-MILLIONAIRE businessman Paul Sykes has sold one of the last pieces of his commercial property empire in a private deal to a UK investor.

Mr Sykes sold the Old Post Office in City Square Leeds, which dates back to the 19th Century, in a landmark transaction to a private hotel operator, which owns the four-star Quebecs Hotel in Leeds.

His property vehicle Highstone Estates bought the grade two listed building in 1987 when it was Leeds’ largest post office.

The company carried out a £6.3m refurbishment of the building in 2005 to create 23 serviced apartments, known as Residence 6, alongside a pair of restaurant units, one of which is occupied by Restaurant Bar and Grill.

The leasehold on the second unit has recently been assigned by Loch Fyne owner Greene King to Leeds-based bar group Arc Inspirations, which plans to invest £1.5m in its Banyan branded bar and restaurant on the site later this year.

Mr Sykes, who made his fortune with the sales of Meadowhall Shopping Centre in Sheffield and Internet service provider Planet Online, sold most of his property investments prior to the crash in 2006 and 2007.

The Old Post Office, which was built in 1896 by Sir Henry Tanner, is thought to be one of Mr Sykes’ last remaining commercial property assets.

Toby Cockcroft, director of Croft Commercial in York, said: “The off-market sale process attracted both UK and international bids, including from the Middle East, London and the north of England, so we were really pleased to have closed the deal for Highstone.”

Colliers International advised the buyer.