Funding deal brings forward prime site for student accommodation

  • 13th February 2024

A joint venture partnership between Asset Capital and Prescient Capital, has secured funding to enable the redevelopment of a pair of vacant landmark buildings opposite the Town Hall in Leeds city centre.

Established senior debt facilitator, BLG Development Finance, has committed funds for the redevelopment of 26 Great George Street, the Grade II-listed former Victoria Commercial & Family Hotel and adjacent Shenanigans pub, which closed at the start of the pandemic.

Built in 1865, The Victoria Hotel was a well-regarded alehouse with 28 bedrooms situated above, while the Shenanigans pub occupied the former Masonic Hall and Central Tower in the city centre.

Last month Stirling Prescient secured full planning consent from Leeds City Council to redevelop the site into purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) on the upper levels while retaining the ground-floor pub and leisure provision.

The team behind Kirkstall Brewery and Whitelock’s Ale House have pledged to restore the pub to its former glory, while the partnership will deliver 54 studio student bedrooms with modern facilities including a concierge, communal lounges, a gym, bin store, TV room, and laundry.

The redevelopment involves partial demolition of the existing buildings with a rear extension rising to four storeys.

The impressive Victorian exterior façade will be sensitively restored, protecting heritage value and enhancing aspects that contribute positively to the site’s significant setting.

Daniel Newett of Asset Capital said: “We are delighted to partner with BLG to bring forward this important regeneration and conservation project.

“Our plans will help to preserve this historic pub for future generations to enjoy while also making best use of the wider plot for much-needed new student accommodation.

“The JV team is local to the area with considerable understanding and expertise in the long-term viability of commercial estate development and an extensive portfolio of successful student led schemes.”

headoffice3, a locally-based specialist in office-to-residential conversions, has been appointed to carry out the redevelopment.

Works began on site this month and are expected to complete at the end of this year.

Planning consultants, Quod; NW Architects; and Montagu Evans are advising on the project while Prestige Student Living, a brand of Homes for Students, will manage the accommodation.

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