PLANS to transform the historic former Co-op department store building in Coventry city centre have been unveiled today.
The Coventry Observer exclusively revealed in November Coventry City Council plans to sell the Corporation Street building to developers for £1 in an unprecedented move – to enable high quality apartments, shops and restaurants rather than more student accommodation.
The council had last year moved to list the building – with its stone columns and carvings and other features of archaeological merit – to protect it from bulldozers following one proposal by another developer to replace it with student flats.
Jim O’Boyle, the council’s cabinet member for jobs and regeneration, approved the unique deal to developers – which also waived any rental payments to the council and create a new 250-year long-lease purchased for £1.
EDG Property had proposed 67 residential apartments and more for the Hawkins building next door – with shops and restaurants on the ground floor.
Neil Edginton, Managing Director of EDG Property, the company also behind developments such as The Cube and The School Yard in Birmingham, said the Cooperative building plans will help Coventry take the next steps in its ambitious city centre development plans.
He said: “We are genuinely excited about this scheme.
“We have successfully negotiated being able to use The Co-operative as the name of the development and retaining the lettering. We will be keeping the façade and making the most of the large glass panels.
“The overall project is around 140,000 sq ft and will include office, retail, leisure and residential and will be truly mixed-used.
“It will be something very different for Coventry and will take city centre living to a new level.
“A park will be a unique feature for the exclusive use of residents, which will give those people access to a tranquil green space in the heart of the bustling city.
“That, along with the private residents club, will help to set The Co-operative apart.”
He said they will market the development proposal to potential investors at the forthcoming annual commercial property forum MIPIM in Cannes, France.