Council claims ‘talks ongoing’ with Kirkgate ‘apart-hotel’ developers
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Blueprints for a multi-million pound apartment and hotel complex next to Kirkgate Market were thought to have sensationally fallen through following publication of a financial statement in which the developers claimed a decision was made “not to proceed” with the George Street development.
But a Leeds City Council spokesperson claimed this afternoon the authority was still in talks with developers Town Centre Securities (TCS) over the site.
Plans to build a “multi-storey building” of nine ground floor shops and an “apart-hotel” had been given the green light by the authority back in 2018. The council decided in late 2017 to contribute £12.9m to the scheme, in order to have a fifty percent share in the hotel’s lease once it was completed.
At a meeting in October 2019, Leeds City Council’s executive board agreed to spend an additional £917,000 towards construction costs in exchange of a fifty percent share of the completed development.
However, the authority has said none of this money needs to be written off, as only £477,000 had been spent so far to buy the site and help relocate existing shop owners.
A spokesperson for Leeds City Council said: “We continue to be in dialogue with TCS about their involvement in the scheme. The council retains ownership of its site which has increased in value through the benefit of the planning permission secured.
“We have invested £430,000 to secure vacant possession and the relocation of tenants affected by the George Street development.
“Our focus going forward is to continue to plan for the redevelopment of the site which will not require any monies to be written off.”
A recent income statement published online by TCS, listed a: “£0.8m write off of George Street development costs – decision made not to proceed.”
TCS said it would not issue a formal response “other than”: “We enjoy a strong and long standing relationship with Leeds City Council which we regard highly. As a listed company, we have to make certain disclosures on our costs, however the nature of the detailed discussions with the council with regard to George Street are private and we will not be making any further comment on this matter.”
The original planning application to build a six-storey “apart-hotel”, which was to feature a mix of residential and hotel accommodation, 126 units in total. The proposals also included nine ground floor commercial units.
It would also mean demolishing some long-standing buildings in the area to make way for the new building.
A report by Leeds City Council officers from January 2019 read: “These are outdated and out of proportion both with the scale of the adjacent market building and the new Victoria Gate development opposite.
“George Street has seen significant changes in the last couple of years since the completion of Victoria Gate. The northern side is populated with some of the best modern architectural expressions in the city and the southern side now represents an opportunity to finish the street with a building which is also of high quality.”