Bid to find buyer for council's HQ
Leicester City Council's condemned headquarters site could become a hotel or conference centre once it has been vacated, officials have said.
The council has announced it intends to have quit the crumbling 1970s New Walk Centre concrete tower blocks by the end of the year and is trying to find a buyer the 1.6-acre site when the buildings are demolished.
Yesterday, it revealed a design brief for developers suggesting possible uses and said it has started actively marketing the site.
It says the site would be suitable for large-scale office development, leisure, hotel or conference facilities, potentially with shops, bars or restaurants on the ground floor.
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The brief says there is also scope for limited residential use.
The council has not put a guide value on the site but said the highest offer may not be the one it accepts.
It wants any new development to attract high numbers of people to the site to help nearby businesses, heavily reliant on custom of the 1,200 council staff working there.
City mayor Peter Soulsby said: "New Walk Centre is in a prime city centre site, and its staff bring in a huge amount of trade to the surrounding shops, restaurants and businesses.
"I expect the city council to be an important part of the mix of new users to the site.
"It is vital to that part of the city that when we leave, the site is redeveloped as soon as is practically possible with the types of businesses which will continue to help the area thrive. We are beginning the process of marketing the site to potential developers."
The development opportunity has been advertised in property developers trade publications.
It also featured prominently at the recent four-day MIPIM property investors event, which took place in Cannes, France, attended by the city mayor.
Sir Peter has previously indicated there has been promising interest in the site from one high-profile firm, but he did not say which one.
The demolition of the concrete towers will cost about £2 million and will start in 2014.
Council staff will be relocated to a refurbished Attenborough House, in Charles Street, and other city centre properties.
Expressions of interest in the site are being sought by May 17. Details are on the council's website at: