AMBITIOUS plans for a £12m hotel on the site of a decommissioned 1970s car park in Leeds city centre have been given the go-ahead.
The site of the ‘mechanical stacker’ car park in Greek Street will house a 10-storey 90-bedroom hotel run by boutique brand Dakota, which was the brainchild of Malmaison creator Ken McCullloch.
As revealed in the YEP last year, developer the Evans Property Group wants to demolish the 220-space car park as part of a £20m overhaul of its various assets in the Bond Court area, which include Minerva House and Capitol House.
The planning approval from the council’s City Plans Panel means the car park and adjacent single-storey Akbar’s restaurant building can now be demolished.
The project includes a basement level restaurant to be accessed off Greek Street and a ground floor bar and terrace area. ‘Public realm’ work will also be undertaken in Bond Court, transforming an area which was previously slammed as little more than a “binyard”.
Alan Syers, portfolio director at Evans Property Group, said “immense consideration” had been given to ways of developing the “strategic site in the heart of the city’s business district”.
“We are delighted that our plans for a luxury hotel have received the green light,” he said. “We are committed to investing in Leeds and we were keen to bring this unique offering to our home city. We are confident that this new venture will be a superb addition to Leeds’ hotel offering, and will successfully regenerate a redundant site in one of the city’s most important locations.”
The firm is set to appoint contractors in the coming weeks with a view to starting demolition as soon as possible. The project is expected to be completed by mid 2016.
The application has not been without its problems. As reported in the YEP earlier this month, bosses found themselves at loggerheads with curry house Akbar’s after restaurant managers complained that the process of evicting them from the site had not been properly handled, despite a £100,000 compensation package being offered.
Commentators previously said Greek Street had lost its “sparkle” over the last few years, and the hotel project would be a “catalyst” for a rebirth.