Opening date revealed for new £17m scheme on site of former department store

Plans are on track for for a former landmark building in Leicester to open its doors as an aparthotel in late summer.

Formerly known as Fenwicks after its previous owner, the Grade II listed building at the corner of Belvoir Street and Market Street has been rebranded The Gresham – derived from its original name when it was first built in the 1800s.

New owner, Aimrok Holdings, is spending £17m transforming this former department store, into a stunning, high-end 133-bed aparthotel, complete with lobby bar/restaurant and top-of-the-range fitness suite; four prime commercial units and 12,000 sq ft Grade A office accommodation and flexible meeting space (which has already been leased by Leicester City Council).

Most of the inner structural construction is now complete and the interior furnishing due to commence in the coming weeks.

Mark Copson, director at Aimrok said, “We are very pleased with the way the development is progressing. Despite the pandemic, we are managing to keep plans largely on track to launch in early autumn. It will be extremely high-class and every finish will be completed to the highest quality. The internal construction is 80% of the way there and the interior designs are being finalised as we speak.

“It’s been an incredibly interesting project during testing times. Although from the outside it only appears to be four storeys high, one of our largest challenges has been the re-levelling of the floors where they have been changed and added to, over the years. Those who remember the building as Fenwicks might well believe there were over 25 different levels to painstakingly and carefully attend to, across eight buildings.

“The Gresham now has six ‘level’ floors – including a top deck which houses four units with spectacular, unparalleled views over the city, and we have added a light well from the roof to the first floor, allowing natural light to flow into the heart of the building.

“We purposely set out to make The Gresham different from anything else in Leicester. It is an iconic and loved building and it deserves a superior look and feel throughout, to match – one I hope its original designer, Isaac Barradale, would have been proud of.

“It is incredibly exciting to see it all coming together and we are continuing to work with the local authority; our finance partners, development lending specialists, Maslow Capital; the LLEP [Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership]; and local businesses, to ensure that it enhances and is embedded into the fabric of Leicester for generations to come.”

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