Hotel plans for Leeds council buildings at next stage

Ronan Faherty, chief executive of Id Real Estate.
Ronan Faherty, chief executive of Id Real Estate.

A major plan to build hotels, leisure space and new offices at former key Leeds City Council sites has moved to the next stage.

Idé Real Estate has now submitted a full application to convert the authority’s Leonardo Building in Rossington Street, neighbouring Thoresby House and 2 Great George Street sites after winning approval for its basic proposals.

The trio of buildings homed some of the council’s main services, but have since been vacated as staff moved to the nearby Merrion House this year.

Ronan Faherty, chief executive of Idé Real Estate, said: “We want to build a diverse community for local entrepreneurs, producers, artists, musicians and artisans to work, relax and socialise in a family-friendly public setting.

“We have engaged widely with the business and civic community and believe there is great support for our vision. We will continue to collaborate closely with the city to reinvent and reenergise these three listed buildings in the city centre.”

The Great George Street site, a detached building constructed as a school in around 1890, could be transformed into a 173-bed “premium lifestyle hotel”.

The Leonardo and Thoresby buildings, a former printing works and teachers’ college which were both constructed around 1900, are planned to be refurbished to offer co-working space.

A “technology-led” eight-storey new build hotel with 166 beds would also be created between the sites, along with courtyards and improvements accessible to the public along Rossington Street and Cookridge Street.

In March last year the council announced that the company was the preferred purchaser for the three Grade II-listed buildings, and the company hopes to start work early next year if it gets approval.