MAHAVIR Properties has received planning permission to build two storeys on top of the Live Lounge building on the corner of Queen Street and the Friary, and convert part of the building to a hotel.
The plan is to keep the shops, gym and music venue, but build a hotel with 166 beds in the top part of the building, using some of the vacant units and the extra two storeys.
The hotel could be run by the adjacent Hilton, or Bespoke Hotels company who run the Gotham and Brooklyn hotels in Manchester. It could create 143 full-time jobs.
Cardiff council recently granted the developers planning permission for the change of use. In planning documents, consultants Barton Willmore revealed details of what could happen.
“It is exciting to be progressing this proposal as it presents a positive opportunity to provide new hotel floor space and a vibrant reconfigured retail offer.
“The proposal will not only enhance and bring back to life the building but also improve the character and attractiveness of this part of Queens Street, delivering significant benefits to both tourist and local economy while safeguarding the retail frontage at Queens Street and the entertainment venue ‘Live Lounge’ located on the Friary.”
As well as Live Lounge, the building is currently home to Superdrug, Poundland and JD Gyms. It used to house the historic department store Marments, which closed in 1986, and then later the Queenswest shopping precinct.
Live Lounge, on the Friary, is a staple of Cardiff’s nightlife with bands playing cover songs until the early hours. The bar is one of the latest to stay open in the city centre. It was almost shut down in 2010 after several violent assaults after the police asked for a licence review.
The application for planning permission to turn the top of the building into a hotel was not considered by the council’s planning committee but decided by council officers instead. Local ward councillors urged developers to protect the historic architecture on the frontage.
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