Riverside restaurant, hotel and business centre planned for famous city centre site

12 Nov 2018 @ 7.35 pm
| Environment

The iconic Banana Warehouse will form part of a £20 million hotel, restaurant and business centre if an ambitious blueprint gets the green light.

The Piccadilly landmark and the site around it will become a four-storey, 158-room hotel, according to plans submitted by the Axcel Group.

While much of the structure will be demolished and replaced, the famous Banana Warehouse facade will be retained and incorporated into a strikingly modern complex.

In documents submitted to City of York Council, developers say:

  • It is our desire to create a piece of high quality contemporary architecture for this site, and to adopt a façade pattern which not only works with modular requirements of the hotel rooms behind but also sits comfortably within the street and in relation to the Banana Warehouse façade.

Dine by the Foss

Another view of the Piccadilly side of the development
The restaurant will host an impressive view of the River Foss and a separate entrance from the hotel’s reception.

The proposal includes a window wall for the restaurant, which they hope will “enliven” the riverbank and put the area back into use.

Plans also incorporate a business centre and meeting rooms on the ground floor.

The hotel and restaurant will overlook the Foss – and the Castle car park…

A new look streetscape

Following a consultation event with York residents, the plans have been reduced from five to four storeys.

You can read the full plans here.

History of the site

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The Banana Warehouse was built for FT Burley, wholesale fruit merchants, in 1925.

Barges delivered green bananas along the River Foss to the back of the building. Transferred to special warm ripening rooms, they were soon ready to eat and kept in refrigerated storage until sold.

It was one of the first buildings on Piccadilly, a street created as part of the civic improvement scheme in 1911/12.

In 1996 Dave Dee Hughes acquired the Banana Warehouse and transformed it into into an imaginarium of furniture and bric-a-brac. It closed in 2016.

There have been previous attempts to redevelop the site.

In 2003, an application to turn it into 27 flats, offices, leisure and car parking was denied due to it not meeting heritage standards.