June 18 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
A century-old department store which has lay dormant for more than two years will be home to shops, a hotel, nightclub and apartments as developers look to seal its future.
The landmark Harrison Gibson building in Ilford Town Centre has been empty since April 2010, but workmen could be on site within a year renovating it.
The plans, approved by Redbridge Council with the inclusion of more than 30 conditions, are for:
• The building to be adapted to accommodate retail, hotel and leisure facilities.
• Retail space to be contained in the ground and first floors.
• A 199-room hotel to occupy floors two to seven, including 101 double guest rooms and 49 one bedroom suites.
• A large multi-purpose venue to be constructed at the top of the building, which can be used as a banqueting hall, exhibition space, nightclub, conference facility or function room.
• A roof-level extension to accommodate office space.
• To the rear and eastern side of the site, the existing annexe building to be demolished and a new, taller eight storey annexe building in Havelock Street constructed containing 34 serviced apartments.
Orient Trading Star Ltd, a company which owns hotels worldwide, has acquired ownership of Harrison Gibson.
It had been owned previously by HG Trading Ltd, which in November 2010 bought it for a figure believed to be around £6million.
Jérôme Lejeune, director of Agenda 21 Architects Studio – which is overseeing the project – told the Recorder this week that the firm was getting into the “detailed design phase” with a view to starting work in “mid-2013”.
The project will help “regenerate” Ilford, according to Cllr Thomas Chan.
The cabinet member for regeneration added: “At the moment there isn’t really a night-time economy in Ilford. Hopefully having this building will attract a lot of customers to the area.”
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