It’s quite a change from the freezer shop and fry-up caff that used to live here.

A state-of-the-art gym will move into Stonebow House once its transformation is complete.

The ground floor of the 1964 property once housed budget retailer Heron Foods and the Jorvik Café among other businesses.

Soon it will teem with the latest gym equipment, as well as a studio space for classes, recovery zone and a licensed bar and restaurant.

Upmarket health and fitness operator motive8 has agreed to lease 8,800sq ft of the property, now being gentrified by Yorkshire developers the Oakgate Group.

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Iconic building

How the finished development is envisaged

More used to running residential and corporate gyms in London, movite8 has been looking to move into York for a while.

Managing director Nick Sadler was born and raised near York before setting up the company in 2000.

He left Yorkshire when 19 to work in America but has always wanted to return.

“It’s taken a bit longer than originally anticipated,” he said.

“But bringing together my passion for the industry, 20 years of experience and some fantastic people I’ve met long the way, when the opportunity came up to do a project in an iconic building within York’s city walls, I knew now was the right time.”

Nick has a unique vision for the Stonebow gym:

I am so excited to bring this project to York and to provide an outstanding facility.

I also hope that once we are up and running we can start to work closely with the community and support local projects enabling all ages to live well and be active.

This place will be a lifestyle, not just a gym.

Finished in spring

How it used to be… Photograph: YorkMix

MD of the Oakgate Group Richard France is overseeing the upgrade of Stonebow House from brutal concrete to gold and glass.

“Motive8 will offer a unique fitness facility, being completely different to any currently available in York and will complement the transformation of Stonebow House,” he said.

External work on the Stonebow property is expected to be finished in spring. A full fit out of the gym will take place following this with it opening by the end of the year.

When finished Stonebow House will have two levels of retail and leisure space, totaling 31,500 sq ft.

Above it, the former office space is being turned into 17 luxury apartments.

An announcement on the remainder of the commercial space is expected soon. York-based Lawrence Hannah is sole agent marketing the commercial space.