A historic Old Town building in Hull that has benefited from a multimillion-pound redevelopment is attracting “exciting levels of interest” from leisure operators and businesses in the food and drinks markets following the recent opening of Tesco as first tenant.
King William House, in Market Place, was completely transformed thanks to a £6m investment by its owners, with a new exterior and the conversion of the upper floors into high-quality residential apartments prior to the pandemic.
The commercial aspect of the development was placed on hold as Covid-19 took a grip, but kicked back into life at the start of the year, with Tesco Express becoming the first tenant last month.
Now, Paul White (pictured), agency director at commercial property specialist Garness Jones, which is handling inquiries for spaces at the development, says interest is high from businesses with “the potential to attract high numbers of visitors”.
“King William House has always been an important redevelopment for the city given its location, and it is one we have been determined to remain patient on and get right,” he said.
“It bridges the gap between Whitefriargate, which is beginning to benefit from investment and a clear regeneration focus backed by all, and Hull Marina and Fruit Market, which of course is now a thriving jewel in the city’s crown.
“Following the recent opening of Tesco, which was a really important vote of confidence in the development from such a major retailer, we have held encouraging talks with a leisure operator which has the potential to attract a lot of visitors, and also with food and beverage operators.
“We have exciting levels of interest which gives us confidence of being able to make more positive announcements in the near future.
“We have seen from recent developments how well mixed-use developments can work. Filling buildings entirely with retail outlets or offices is not always the answer in modern times, but a mix of businesses can really attract good numbers and be of benefit to all who are based there.”
Remaining units available in King William House, a former 1970s bank and office block, include retail, office, bars, cafes and restaurants, all purposes for which Hull City Council has already given its consent.
The commercial aspect of the building has been designed to be flexible in terms of its space configuration, so units can be designed perfectly to suit a tenant’s need.
“The building really does present a great opportunity for those looking to open a new venture in Hull, or enter the city for the first time, as there is so much flexibility with regards space. That has added to its appeal to leisure operators,” added Mr White.
“It is great to be able to talk to prospective tenants and have a genuine story to tell about the city’s regeneration and its progress.”