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Hotel and luxury apartment plans revealed for coal exchange

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dave

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Hotel and luxury apartment plans revealed for coal exchange

PostWed Feb 17, 2016 5:04 pm

Signature Living, which operates hotels and serviced apartments in Liverpool, is looking to acquire the Coal Exchange

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The Coal Exchange, Mount Stuart Square, Cardiff Bay

Plans to turn the historic Coal Exchange building in Cardiff Bay into a boutique hotel and private apartment development can be revealed.

Signature Living, which runs a chain of hotels and service apartments schemes in Liverpool, is finalising an evaluation process with a view to acquiring the building with development plans they say will “breathe life” back into the "utterly stunning" building.

However, even if a deal is struck any plans would require planning consent as well as agreement from Cadw, as the Coal Exchange is a listed building. Plans also include a restaurant and for it to be a wedding venue for up to 1,000 guests.

The 140,000 sq ft building was previously owned by Macob Exchange, which had plans for a £20m scheme to turn it into apartments, restaurants and office space.

However, the business went into liquidation. There is currently a charge on the building from Julian Hodge Bank and Cardiff council, but it is currently technically owned by the Crown Estate. The are a number of other smaller creditors too.

It is understood that it would need the Crown Estate to agree any property deal having taken the position of creditors and the wider community interest into account.

Julian Hodge is owed around £3m, while the council says it has a charge position due to costs incurred, under its emergency powers, to ensure the safety of the building.

Related content: Council confirms developer interest

Signature's existing portfolio includes a hotel themed in honour of the late Liverpool football manager Bill Shankly, the Shankly Hotel.

Signature interested in 'magnificent building'
Lawrence Kenwright, owner of property portfolio company, Signature Living
On his website founder and owner of Signature Living, Lawrence Kenwright, said: "This magnificent building is a grade two listed building and was once home to the city's coal business.

"We have incredible plans for the Coal Exchange and our goal is to breathe life into this utterly stunning building once again.


"The development will consist of Signature Livings unique take on luxury accommodation with a mixture of a hotel and Signature Living apartments, as well as a restaurant and grand wedding venue in the old trading hall which has a capacity of up to 1,000 people."

When asked if a deal was close on acquiring the Coal Exchange a spokesman for Signature said: “We are look at a variety of priorities in a variety of cities including Cardiff.

"We have expressed an interested in the Coal Exchange, but we are not in a position to offer further comment at this stage."

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/business/b ... d-10906002
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Lyndon

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Re: Hotel and luxury apartment plans revealed for coal excha

PostWed Feb 17, 2016 5:44 pm

Hmm, the Liverpool hotel seems to feature decor that a rapper or footballer would reject as tasteless, and seems to be aiming at the stag and hen do market. Personally I'd tell this guy to get stuffed and continue with the good work the Save the Coal Exchange group are doing, including reopening the main hall as a music venue.
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Ash

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Re: Hotel and luxury apartment plans revealed for coal excha

PostWed Feb 17, 2016 6:33 pm

I tend to agree with Lyndon. I'm also surprised at the assertion that "the old trading hall has a capacity of up to 1,000 people." I would be surprised if it's even half that.
Last edited by Ash on Wed Feb 17, 2016 7:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Lyndon

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Re: Hotel and luxury apartment plans revealed for coal excha

PostWed Feb 17, 2016 7:28 pm

As a music venue the Coal Exchange had a capacity of 1000 standing. Obviously, it would be a lot less for pretty much any other purpose.
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RandomComment

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Re: Hotel and luxury apartment plans revealed for coal excha

PostWed Feb 17, 2016 7:30 pm

I was about to say "its a bit bling" but not too bad - and I think I could apply that to the Shankly. But you are right, some of the rest is tacky as hell, and it is very much aimed at a party crowd that have a bit of cash to splash (so not those staying at the Etap or Travelodge). The kind who will do coke in the bathroom and when high/drunk will be especially rowdy as during the week they are such good boys and girls (a bit like the middle aged male rugby fans SWP were recently complaining about).

I imagine the neighbouring occupiers would be pretty worried about this - there are apartments on the western and northern part of Mount Stuart Square.

What about the alternatives though? Having said that "Save the Coal Exchange" is doing worthy work, I must say my impression is that they do not have any idea what a viable commercial proposition for restoration of the building would look like. A quick look at their website shows nothing like a worked-out plan for the restoration and re-use of the building. No suggestions about what restoration might cost; what uses they envisage; what a business case may look like. Instead its largely some interesting information the information, and campaigning for the protection of "heritage".

So what is their plan? A wealthy donor? Heritage Lottery funding? The public sector? I don't see any of these as likely. In particular what chance is there of the public sector having the money to fund something like this at the moment: it won't be serving a core identified need, nor will it be in an area that is deemed especially requiring regeneration. And money is very tight, especially for local government.

I think any development will have to be led by the private sector, and will have to be an area that offers pretty decent gross returns to fund the cost of the structural work and tied-debts. Unless we want it to be student accom, the hotel and serviced apartment sector probably does represent one of the more viable areas. Rates of return are still higher than standard residential development (at least in Cardiff). And actually, its more likely that re-use of the main hall (at least in some form) would be acceptable in that context, than in a context of a regular residential conversion. I don't see office use (which, as a daytime use would be most compatible with use of the main hall for weekend and night-time entertainment) being viable - unless the reconfiguring work can attract significant subsidy.
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Peiriannydd

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Re: Hotel and luxury apartment plans revealed for coal excha

PostWed Feb 17, 2016 11:05 pm

Anything is better than seeing this building fall down, but the bay has enough flats with space to build more purpose-built ones. What the bay needs is more business or reasons to go down there other than have a drink or coffee.

What about a dedicated national art gallery? Seriously, let's separate art gallery floors from the Museum in the civil centre and free up space to exhibit larger collections? I'm sure (as in all museums and galleries) that they'll have much more in storage. We could then have a single museum and a single art gallery in the city.

Or what about a head quarters for a proper Welsh development bank? It's ideally close to the Sennedd.

Or maybe we should bulldoze the ghastly Sennedd and turning the Coal Exchange into our Parliament building?

It's a fantasitic instititutional building and it should be used for a national institution of some kind and not flats.
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paul cardiffwalesmap

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Re: Hotel and luxury apartment plans revealed for coal excha

PostWed Feb 17, 2016 11:22 pm

"Or maybe we should bulldoze the ghastly Sennedd and turning the Coal Exchange into our Parliament building?"

Make a great wetherspoons! ;) only joking I think it's well worthy of remaining, but using the coal exchange for that purpose originally - seems to make a lot of sense (mind you what's sense got to do with anything!!)
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Ash

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Re: Hotel and luxury apartment plans revealed for coal excha

PostThu Feb 18, 2016 12:58 am

Peiriannydd wrote: Or maybe we should bulldoze the ghastly Sennedd and turning the Coal Exchange into our Parliament building?


It was meant to be just that - and you can still see parts of the refit. I was one of the small number who voted Yes in the 1979 devolution referendum. Those of you who voted the other way can thank yourselves for the shit Wales endured for the next three decades.

Sadly, I think we're about to repeat the mistake by bigging up the pathetic 'Welsh' Labour and the bonkers Ukip in the coming election.
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Karl

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Re: Hotel and luxury apartment plans revealed for coal excha

PostThu Feb 18, 2016 10:10 am

I've no objection to it being turned into a hotel although hopefully not a Travelodge on steroids. Ideally with the trading hall still open for public events and with bars/restaurants aimed at the general public and not just residents.

I'd be less happy with it being turned into apartments. That part of the Bay is still the most interesting architecturally and historically. If it's best building is turned into private apartments I can only see the Mt Stuart Square area becoming quieter than it already is and ever more isolated.

The ideal would be a mix of business units, concert hall, restaurants/bars and perhaps a hotel element. In reality it will be whatever brings in the most money to justify the huge expense of renovating the building. I really can't see business rents being at a level to justify the costs for a private developer unless you have a blue chip client who wants a statement HQ - but with the plethora of Grade A office developments in the pipeline in Cardiff at the moment thats very unlikley.
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RandomComment

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Re: Hotel and luxury apartment plans revealed for coal excha

PostThu Feb 18, 2016 4:37 pm

Ash wrote:
Peiriannydd wrote: Or maybe we should bulldoze the ghastly Sennedd and turning the Coal Exchange into our Parliament building?


It was meant to be just that - and you can still see parts of the refit. I was one of the small number who voted Yes in the 1979 devolution referendum. Those of you who voted the other way can thank yourselves for the shit Wales endured for the next three decades.

Sadly, I think we're about to repeat the mistake by bigging up the pathetic 'Welsh' Labour and the bonkers Ukip in the coming election.


One may think that the policy achievements of Welsh Labour have a lot to be desired. But I think its quite hard to think anything other than that they been "Welsh" in the sense of adopting different policies to Labour in London - especially in health and education (and more's the shame in my view!).

The problem is given voting patterns and the voting system, whats the alternative in Wales? We're a long long way off a centre-right grouping being able to anchor a government. Those voters voting UKIP would be better off voting Conservative, for instance, if they wanted to end the dominance of Labour. And to the left we have Plaid Cymru - which for a group who want more 'independence' for Wales are very good at suggesting ways in which we can increase our reliance on funds transferred from over the border. In my view, what Wales needs least is an even more dominant public sector.

I'd like to see a realigment of Welsh politics, with some party competition between centre left and centre right. Alas, I just don't see that happening.

So I'm quite relieved I don't get a vote in the coming elections... I'd be rather depressed about it all!
Last edited by RandomComment on Thu Feb 18, 2016 4:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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