Specialist estate agents have started marketing an historic former Brighton hotel. Royal York Buildings, overlooking the Old Steine and Brighton Pier, was vacated by the council’s social services staff, who are moving to Bartholomew Square.
Now commercial agents DTZ are marketing the building for the council and arranging viewings for potential purchasers of a long lease. A lease enables the council to retain an element of control over the building.
The Grade II listed landmark, parts of which date back to 1771, was converted into offices when it was acquired by the council in 1929.
It boasts an imposing ground floor lobby, a number of large period rooms, offices, kitchenettes, storage and communal areas. The central façade of the building dates from 1819.
The building’s established planning use is for offices. Council planning policies resist the loss of such office space. But if offices were shown to be genuinely redundant, other uses such as a hotel and affordable housing would be considered. The top two floors have low ceilings with potential for providing flats.
Property and finance councillor Simon Burgess said: “The building could provide jobs or homes or a combination of the two.
“We also want it preserved and enhanced so that it continues to make a contribution to our historic cityscape. The sale offers the potential to see some or all of the building returned to its historic condition, with the tatty 20th century conversion work and partitioning removed.”
The council hopes to find a new occupier for the building by the end of the year.
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