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Roman House office block in Rougier Street, York could get new lease of life
A CITY-centre office block which has been empty for three years could now be redeveloped after being acquired by a property investment firm.
Roman House, in Rougier Street, has been vacant since Aviva moved staff out of the 35,000sq ft building in September 2010.
The property was initially available to sub-let, but after a lack of interest it has now been acquired by The Skelwith Group.
The York-based firm has not yet revealed what it plans to do with the building, though said it will work to “enhance the existing design” rather than look at demolishing the site.
Paul Ellis, managing director of Skelwith, said: “Roman House is a high-profile building in the centre of York and one we feel has massive potential.
“Our plans will be to transform the building through clever design and renovation as that part of the city has undergone a renaissance in recent years.
“The new council offices, Cedar Court Grand and various other buildings have all helped to improve the look of the area and Roman House will be one of the last pieces in the jigsaw to complement these.
“Our development team has a number of ideas for the building and we will be announcing them in the coming weeks.”
Grosvenor Financial Consultants will provide the funding, as it has done with Raithwaite Hall, the Skelwith Group’s hotel near Whitby.
Since the foundation of the company in 2004, Skelwith has been responsible for a number of high-profile developments, including the Aspire offices in Bootham and the current development of the £100 million Flaxby Country Resort near Knaresborough.
The proposals include an improved petrol station and retail facilities for customers, and a new restaurant. Operators for both the petrol station and retail and new restaurant are expected to be named shortly, following what has been described as “significant interest in all elements of the scheme”.
The Skelwith Group says it is already in final discussions with a high-profile tenant for the restaurant.
The Skelwith Group is buying the site from Stephen Ellis, father of Skelwith’s managing director Paul Ellis. When complete, the new petrol station and restaurant will create 20 new jobs.
The Wills and Ellis service centre is set to move to premises nearby. Work is hoped to start before the end of the year to remodel the site.
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