Planning sought for new hotel and retail offer in Exeter city centre site

Planning permission is being sought for an international brand hotel, restaurant, bar and retail offering in central Exeter.

The purchase of the four storey 55,000 sq ft building on Exeter High Street, which is currently occupied by House of Fraser, has been agreed by wealth performance management firm Prydis for an undisclosed sum. National property consultancy Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH) is advising Prydis on the acquisition.

Exeter head-quartered Prydis has confirmed a planning application will be submitted to convert the three upper floors of the building to a hotel with an extension to create a new rooftop restaurant and bar, creating new jobs and boosting visitor numbers to the city.

Commenting, LSH Associate Director Hollie Ruddle, who is handling the transaction, said: “This is arguably one of Exeter’s best known high street buildings, occupying a prominent position in the city’s main retail shopping district. We are delighted to be involved with the acquisition and these proposals to deliver a new hotel, retail and restaurant, which would attract new occupants and create attractive new facilities for the city.”

Managing Director of Prydis, Joe Priday, added: “My colleagues and I were made aware of a potential deal prior to the unfortunate pre-packaged administration of House of Fraser and immediately engaged LSH and Expedite to help us cut through the noise surrounding this icon of Exeter High Street. We have worked closely with the Council now for the last few months to put together a truly innovative scheme to highlight the merits of the building, and vitally enhance and retain the employment that the building brings. We all grew up with the building, and using our local knowledge, hope to really put it back on the map.”

Andrew Aust, for lead design and architectural practice Expedite, concluded: “A fast paced development always requires true collaboration with all stakeholders. Positive and early engagement with the Local Planning Authority is helping to shape these exciting designs, with the team looking to engage and fine tune further with Historic England with a target submission date at the end of the month.”

The lease Sports Direct agreed with its landlord on behalf of House of Fraser after the pre-packaged administration indicates that they are looking to vacate the building in the summer.