Two of Harrogate’s landmark buildings have been sold as part of a staggering £18.25 million deal.
Harrogate House, which includes the new restaurants on Parliament Street and the historic Royal Baths building have been sold to an international investment firm by Yorkshire property magnate Phillip Lunn.
This comes two years after grand plans to convert part of the street into a restaurant quarter were put into motion.
The managing director of Lateral Property Group, Mr Lunn said: “We are exceptionally proud of what we have achieved in regenerating this location, which is a popular leisure destination.”
Mr Lunn’s ambitious plans to re-develop Parliament Street into a pedestrianised boulevard were met by outrage from furious residents when they were first revealed in 2011.
The A61 which runs down Parliament Street remained, but Mr Lunn’s Lateral Property Group pushed ahead with redeveloping part of the street into ‘family friendly foodie heaven’ with three new restaurants, starting work in 2013.
Jamie’s Italian opened on the street last July, just days before the Tour de France pelaton whizzed up the famous road.
Leeds based The Pit also opened last summer, while Nando’s will open its doors in June. There has been no confirmation of which other brands will take on the empty units, though champagne bar Épernay had shown an interest.
Sandra Doherty, president of Harrogate’s Chamber of Trade and Commerce, said she hopes the buildings new owners, M&G Investments, looked to increase diversity on the street.
She said: “I don’t have an objection to more restaurants, but I think that street is turning into a no go zone during the day. Shoppers need to find reasons to walk down a street and if you aren’t eating out, people won’t.
“Parliament Street is better than that, with Bettys at the top, we need a variety of business, as we do on all streets across town.”
Mike Procter, who owns M Procter Opticians on Parliametn Street said: “What I want to see is fully let units all down the street. We have got to have a range of businesses on offer, if it is too many shops no one would go there after 5pm, too many restaurants people avoid it in the daytime.”
M&G declined the Advertisers invitation to comment. The company manages a £257.3 billion investment portfolio, recent acquisitions include €33 million worth of retail units in Copenhagen and prime shopping streets in Milan.
Lateral are continuing work to redevelop another unit on Parliament Street, which Pizza Hut used to be, and say the buildings five new shops or restaurants will ‘further enhance the vitality of Parliament Street and create more jobs.’
What do you think? Has Parliament Street’s redevelopment been a success? Email firstname.lastname@example.org