25 things to know about the White Swan Hotel redevelopment

14 Nov 2014 @ 5.12 pm
| News, Property

After a quarter of a century being left to rot, this city centre landmark is nearly ready to welcome new retailers and residents. Here’s what it’s all about…

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L-R: Richard Panter from HCA, Cllr Simpson-Laing and Helen Williams from the Empty Homes Agency in the kitchen of a first floor flat at White Swan. Photograph: Richard McDougall

1.The White Swan on Piccadilly, York, was rebuilt in 1912 on the site of a former coaching inn with the same name.
2.The original hotel dated back to the early 18th century but was demolished as part of the creation of Piccadilly
3.It was designed by Mortimer and Sons of Lincoln, who also designed the Lincoln racecourse grandstand
4.The White Swan Hotel is not a listed building
5.Its interior has been substantially changed since first opening and many of the original fixtures and fittings were removed
6.The White Swan Hotel closed in 1982 and the building has stood empty since 1990…
7.…Except for a brief period in 2003 when it was occupied by 40 squatters who declared it the "Rainbow Peace Hotel"
8.At that time, according to the Yorkshire Evening Press, it was owned "by London-based Graham Family Settled Estates Ltd, which controls a £9 million property portfolio, including a share in the prestigious United University Club in Pall Mall, London"
9.But that company was dissolved in 2014 after trading for 67 years
10.City of York Council will not say who owns the property now
11.During its years of disuse, the White Swan deteriorated badly with rot and water damage from roof to basement
12.Work started to refurbish the building in November 2013, and the work will be completed in December 2014
13.The renovation has been undertaken by three partners: York council, Tees Valley Housing association and the the Homes and Communities Agency which gave a grant towards the work
14. It now has a new roof and energy saving improvements to cut running costs
15.Sainsbury's has been confirmed as one tenant on the ground floor, with a further tenant still to sign up
16.18 apartments have been created on the upper floors which will be leased to Tees Valley Housing for an initial period of 15 years. City of York Council will manage the apartments on behalf of Tees Valley
17.Properties will be let to people unable to afford to buy or rent homes on the open market
18.Rents will be set at no more than 80% of the market rents
19.Rents average £104 per week for a one-bedroom flat. There are also two 2-bedroom flats at £111 and £157 per week
20.Preference will be given to applicants with a local connection and who are working in and around the city centre. The flats do not have car parking
21. Families with children will not be considered given the location and suitability of the flats
22.Tenancies will be three-year fixed term and will be reviewed well in advance of the tenancy coming to an end. They can be renewed
23.Properties will be advertised shortly across a number of media including the North Yorkshire Homechoice website
24. “We ask anyone considering creating homes in currently unused buildings to contact us so we can work together to bring much-needed, good quality homes and generate new income streams from rent" – Cllr Tracey Simpson-Laing, York council
25.Anyone owning or managing property in the centre of York and would like to know more about the Empty Homes scheme and how to access funding should, contact Jimm Reed at CoHo on 07730 780686 or [email protected]