Plans to turn the former Mecca Bingo site into student accommodation have been revealed today (Saturday).
Olympian Homes is proposing the plans, working with the owners of the Fishergate site Grantside and North Star, following the closure of the bingo club in March.
It would be demolished, to be replaced with a block including around 280 student bedrooms, landscaping and extensive bicycle parking.
The new building will be called Rialto House, after the famous cinema and venue that was on the site before it was demolished to make way for the bingo hall.
The Rialto attracted famous stars including the Beatles and Cilla Black in its heyday.
The local community is now being asked to comment on the redevelopment plans through a dedicated consultation website.
Architect GWP Architecture has designed the building, referencing local architectural features and materials as part of the design.
Replacing ‘unattractive building’
George Downes from Olympian Homes said: “We would encourage as many people as possible to take part in the consultation and let us know what they think about our plans.
“Our aim is to replace this unattractive building with a high-quality, sustainable, new development that fits in with its surroundings.
“Despite recent approvals and progress of other student accommodation in the City, there is still strong demand and a lack of supply in the city. Developing purpose built accommodation will release pressure on family housing by freeing up existing homes in York.”
A planning application will be submitted to City of York Council following the consultation process.
A report by the Citizens Advice York and University of York Students Union published in May highlighted the fact that poor quality student accommodation and management, often in converted houses, harmed the mental and physical health of students.
There are currently around 27,000 registered students in full time education from the city’s two universities and just over 10,000 purpose-built student bedrooms.
According to the developers, there are around 700 in the pipeline, either being built or with planning permission.