A LEADING York property company has bought a major building in York city centre to redevelop the site into a new 132-room hotel.

North Star has bought the former government tax office, Swinson House, in Piccadilly from the Dominvs Group for an undisclosed amount.

Built in 1938, the 35,000 sq ft building next to Spark York was previously occupied by HMRC, but was vacated because it was outdated and no longer fit for purpose.

York Press:

Swinson House in Piccadilly.

Dominvs Group lodged plans with City of York Council at the end of 2019 for Swinson House at 23 Piccadilly, to demolish the existing building and construct a part-four and part-six storey hotel.

The application was for 132 bedrooms, reduced from 146 in the original submission, as well as a ground floor restaurant and bar open to the public.

The council's Planning Committee approved plans for the development, subject to conditions, in August 2020.

York Press:

An impression of how the new hotel will look. Images: planning documents

It was estimated at the time that the proposed hotel would create between 50 and 70 full and part-time jobs during construction and once in operation.

An operator is due to be announced shortly.

The total gross development value (GDV) of the project - what it may be worth once all the development works have been completed - is in excess of £25million.

The deal by North Star, one of the city's major development companies, follows other high-profile acquisitions and projects in recent years, including numerous buildings in York, a large office building in Plymouth and a residential development site in Sheffield city centre.

In Ocotber 2021, the company announced it had acquired the prominent retail building where The Entertainer is based in Coney Street to add to its growing investment portfolio in the city.

There is a long-lease in place with the national toy retail brand.

Other purchases by the company include the TK Maxx shop, Coney Street, and the former New Look building in Parliament Street, along with the former Kuda night club in Clifford Street, and former Mecca bingo hall in Fishergate, in joint ventures with York-based Grantside.

Swinson House sits within City of York Council’s Castle Gateway masterplan which will see the whole area rejuvenated with new public realm and high-quality development providing massive improvements to this key part of York.

A spokesperson for North Star said: “This is a great opportunity to regenerate this strategic site in York city centre with a high-quality hotel development.

"We are in advanced discussions with a leading hotel operator which we will announce shortly.

“This purchase further underlines our commitment to investing in and improving York city centre, where we are proud to have our headquarters.”

The funding for the purchase was arranged by Ice Cubed Property Finance.

HMRC employed almost 200 people in York about 14 years ago, at two offices in St Saviourgate and Piccadilly.

Only about 30 people worked at the building when it closed. An HMRC spokesman said at the time that staff from York would move to an existing HMRC office in Leeds.

He said HMRC was ‘transforming to create a tax authority fit for the future, increasing tax revenue and improving customer service, by creating 13 new modern regional centres in locations where the majority of our staff are already based.’