Leeds city centre hotel back on track

A new £30 million hotel and office development could be built on prime Leeds city centre land near the railway station if a proposed new scheme gets the go-ahead.

Leeds-based Gregory Projects and Elland-based Marshall Construction have bought the a 0.6 acre site on Whitehall Road from Town Centre Securities for an undisclosed sum as part of a joint venture project.

Hopes are high for planning permission for a 130-bedroom hotel and 50,000 sq ft of of?ces.

Premier Inn has already signed a deal to operate the hotel as part of its plans to expand closer to the train station and to the south of the city.

Richard Tovey, from Gregory Projects, said: "This is a prime development opportunity that will draw interest from blue chip businesses seeking a very short walk to the railway station.

"The advanced agreement with Premier Inn reinforces the location values as well as Leeds’ capacity for more hotel accommodation."

Bosses are also aiming to pre-let half of the office space to help fund the scheme.

A full planning application is expected to be submitted by the end of September.

Adam Cockroft, of DTZ, which is marketing the office space with Sanderson Weatherall, said: "Leeds remains one of Europe's top business destinations and still enjoys healthy demand for high quality office accommodation, despite the economic downturn.

"This development is in an excellent location and offers an opportunity for potential occupiers to influence the design and layout of their office space and also enjoy an on-site hotel for guests and employees."

The Yorkshire Evening Post reported yesterday that take-up of new office space in Leeds had shot up by more than 40 per cent compared to the same time last year, with experts saying it was "indicative of improving occupier confidence in the city".

Commercial property consultancy Knight Frank found that headline office rents in Leeds would rise to £25 per sq ft by the end of this year - a sign of diminishing supplies of Grade A office space.

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