The green light has been given to convert Birmingham’s Methodist Central Hall into a dual occupancy hotel and ‘gastro hall’.
Birmingham City Council granted planning permission to plans submitted by developer Ciel Capital and architecture firm ICA to transform the Grade II-listed property into a £35m, 147-bedroom Unscripted hotel and 75-bedroom Stow-Away luxury aparthotel.
The development will also transform the building’s central hall into a ‘gastro hall’ (pictured) and restore its central organ, which will be showcased in a mezzanine bar overlooking the hall. Food and beverage outlets will offer locally-sourced ingredients and local flavours.
The hotel will be operated by Dream Hotel Group, while the Stow-Away-branded aparthotel will be operated by BridgeStreet Global Hospitality.
The building was designed by Birmingham architects Ewan Harper and James A Harper, but in recent years has fallen into disrepair following several years of use as a nightclub, and currently lies empty. It is listed on Historic England’s ‘Heritage at Risk’ register. The project is targeted to complete in 2020.
Jason Wischhoff, vice-president development Europe & Africa for Dream Hotel Group, said: “This step marks Dream Hotel Group’s first entrance into the European market, building off our success in the United States, South East Asia and across the globe.”
Vedrana Bilanovic Riley, chief executive of Ciel Capital, said: “The project team has been working hard over the past few months to ensure that our plans deliver a sensitive restoration of the iconic building, and we look forward to getting started.”
Birmingham City Council leader Ian Ward added: “This exciting development will give the beautiful building a new lease of life.”
Dream Hotel Group has 17 hotels and four main brands: Dream Hotels, Time Hotels, the Chatwal Hotels and Unscripted. The Unscripted brand is personalised to each location, offering local food and beverages. The company debuted its flagship Unscripted hotel in North Carolina in the US in July 2017 and plans to open another five by 2020, with plans to sign another 30 hotels and resorts worldwide overall over the next four years.
Stow-Away has one aparthotel open at Lower Marsh Street in London Waterloo, which opened last year, as well as two sites in the pipeline in London, two in Glasgow, and one in Manchester.
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