AS REGULAR readers will know, City Buzz has been proud supporters of the Merrion Street revolution.
In a seemingly short space of time, the area has gone from a tired and forgotten corner of the city centre to arguably one of the best Saturday night spots.
Not surprisingly, there are lots of people who want to get in on the act, and in the past year or so we’ve already seen newbies such as Shuffledog, Slate and Mean Eyed Cat join the party.
Of course, with so many places clamouring for space, opportunities to set up something new are few and far between, and most vacant sites have been snapped up pretty quickly.
The exception to that rule though has been the former Blue Coyote site, which has been sat empty on Merrion Street for some time.
But that could be about to change as City Buzz has learned the site has finally gone up for sale.
The huge 8,000sq ft site is being sold by Leeds City Council for £575,000.
Due to its location in the heart of the Northern Quarter and its proximity to Leeds Arena, The Grand Theatre and various shopping centres, there has already been a significant number of bars and restaurants expressing an interest in the site since it went on the market on March 7.
Viewings will be held at the end of the month and the beginning of April, and offers will be taken from interested parties afterwards.
A spokeswoman for Leeds City Council said: “We are really keen to re-energise the area around New Briggate by bringing vacant buildings like this back into use.
“We want the area to benefit from the vibrancy that already exists along The Headrow and Briggate.
“To do this we would like to create an exciting and attractive visitor destination that will help to provide an improved environment for the Grand Theatre and Opera House.”
It seems this part of town is only going to flourish as there are plans in the pipeline to give neighbouring New Briggate a major revamp.
The plans include improvements to Leeds Grand Theatre, as well as better links to nearby Lovell Park, the Arena quarter and the Victoria Gate development.
The pay and display car park at Cross Belgrave Street is also looking to be sold off, with hopes it would become a more attractive public space.
The proposals could kickstart a fresh vision for the New Briggate area, which will have a knock-on effect for local businesses.
Speaking previously about the plans for the area, councillor Richard Lewis, the council’s executive member for regeneration, transport and planning, said: “New Briggate is an area with a tremendous amount of potential and the time is right to look at what we can do to bring about some positive changes which could maximise that potential and make this a much more vibrant and exciting part of the city.
“For us, that is about making the most of what we have here and now so we can work with local businesses and the private sector to encourage investment, bring about improvements and help New Briggate be all that it can be.”
We can’t wait to see what’s in store for the street, and will keep you posted with all the updates.