Gregory Property Group exchanged contracts to purchase the one-acre site of Maxi’s Chinese restaurant on Bingley Street in Leeds city centre.
WYG has submitted a full planning application to demolish the existing restaurant and build a 400-bed student scheme.
The restaurant, which is still open, plans to relocate within the area if a suitable opportunity presents itself. In the meantime, it will focus on Maxi’s York, in Nether Poppleton, another 300-seater restaurant.
Gregory has previously built office schemes on Wellington Street and Whitehall Road as well as the £40m Broad Street Plaza in Halifax. It is expanding its residential portfolio with a number of bespoke housing developments in Yorkshire and is actively seeking other prime site opportunities.
Barry Gregory, of Gregory Property Group, said: “We are pleased to have secured this site through competitive tender which recognises the credentials of our long-established business to deliver sustainable development.
“The appetite for high quality student accommodation continues to grow apace with Leeds being one of the top ten university destinations in the UK.
“With a growing student population of around 60,000 students in the city there remains sustainable demand.
“More than half the student population is made up of University of Leeds which has a growing number of international students who have a propensity to stay in purpose built student accommodation (PBSA).
“This particular site sits within an established PBSA location, where accommodation is most needed.”
Gregory Property Group is aiming to start on site in February 2019, subject to planning consent.
Carisbrooke Estates acted on behalf of Gregory Property Group in the acquisition of the site.
Popular restaurant since 1989
Maxi’s was founded by Raymond Wong in 1989, serving Cantonese & Peking cuisine.
The purpose-built building with an oriental-style entrance, in Bingley Street, Leeds, has capacity for over 200 people.
The restaurant also operates two other branches at Nether Poppleton in York, and Leeds Kirkgate Market.
Maxi’s was also a popular venue for the Emmerdale cast when they were based at the nearby ITV studios. According to an interview with actress Lisa Riley in 2011, they would often book the restaurant for farewell parties and other celebrations, such as birthdays.