BUSINESSMAN Mike Smith today said that stalled major renovation work on the iconic former Mike’s Carpets building in Armley is due to get underway on Monday.
Mr Smith said the Grade II listed building on Stanningley Road will look “stunning” after the six-month project is complete.
He hopes the first floor could be transformed into apartments.
Scaffolding is due to be erected on Monday ahead of a £650,000 scheme to restore the landmark building.
City leaders used the council chamber at Leeds Civic Hall in early April to urge Mr Smith to get on with major renovation work at the building within the following month or face enforcement action.
The meeting was told the building’s owner been given £118,000 of a £500,000 Lottery heritage grant to get the work started - but no work had seemingly been done.
Armley Labour councillor Jim McKenna told the meeting: “It’s public money and we are guardians of that public money.
“The council expects work to recommence on site by May or June. We shall see these dates are adhered to.”
The warning came after the YEP revealed vital restoration work had stalled after the builders walked out on the £650,000 project.
Mr Smith, the owner of the building, said in May that new contractors have been appointed and work was due to start in July this year.
He told the YEP today that the new contractor is due to start work on Monday, adding: “The council and myself have appointed a new contractor, William Anelay from York, who have got great conservation experience. I’m confident they will do a great job for us.
“There is a new roof going on and new windows and new mullions, it is a major job. Because it is a listed building everything has got to be done properly.”
Mr Smith said he leases the ground floor of the building to a carpet company, but the first floor is empty.
He added: “We are talking to the council about what we are going to do with the upstairs. It is about 5,000 sq ft to 6,000 sq ft. I would like to see it turned into nice apartments.
“I would prefer residential use but if it has to be a business it has to be a business.
“Before we can even think about doing anything with the upstairs the contract has got to be finished, which is likely to be six months away.”
“It is a nice building. It will look fabulous when it’s done, It will be pristine and will be re-pointed with new windows and a new roof. It is going to be a stunning looking building.”
Mr Smith said he has owned the building since 1979, adding: “We used it as a warehouse. It is quite iconic really because everybody knows at as the Mike’s Carpets building.”
Coun McKenna said he will be “delighted” if there is progress with the former Mike’s Carpet’s building on Monday, adding: “I shall be there on Monday morning to see if the scaffolding goes up and to see if the work is commencing.”
“It is a Grade II listed building. The council has a duty to such important historical buildings and we would like to see it come into economic use be it either a successful business carried out in there or it could be turned in to flats, we would certainly support either of those schemes.”