£2m project to breathe new life into Leicester’s Cultural Quarter

Left to right: James Coningsby, Coun Sue Waddington and Mark Tildesley

An historic building in Leicester’s Cultural Quarter has been sold for around £1 million, and work has started on site for its £2 million transformation into apartments and a restaurant – a development which is expected to act as a catalyst for change in the area.

The grade II listed Shahista House in Rutland Street will now be called Queen’s Building, as it was originally named when built in 1897.

Queen’s Building sits opposite the Curve and is a landmark building in the area. The redevelopment of the property will breathe new life into the cultural quarter, according to its new owners Park Portfolio.

The property will be transformed into 14 apartments, with a restaurant in the basement and on the ground floor.

James Coningsby, head of Nelsons Solicitors’ commercial property department, acted on the sale of Queen’s Buildings with Mark Tildesley of Leicester-based Rich & Carr acting on the purchase.

Coningsby said: “Nelsons Solicitors was pleased to act for the owner of the property – which was latterly shops and a snooker hall. The redevelopment could attract further investment to the area and help make it even more attractive to visitors”.

Tildesley said: “This is a significant building in Leicester which has been underused for a long period of time. With redevelopment and investment, Queen’s Building will bring something special to the area”.

Andrew Watson of Park Portfolio said the firm had been involved in the development of numerous buildings in the Cultural Quarter over the last 15 years, including The Foister Building, The Cherub Building, Exchange Buildings, and Rutland House.

He said: “To illustrate our commitment to the Cultural Quarter as well as pursuing the development of Queen’s Building, we also acquired Assurance House in Rutland Street for another mixed use scheme.

“We remain long term investors in this exciting vibrant area of Leicester.

“We are delighted with the support from Leicester City Council who have been absolutely fantastic in helping us bring this scheme forward. They had a ‘can do’ attitude to the development of Queen’s Building, knowing the building is a catalyst for further investment in the Cultural Quarter”.

Leicester City Council supported the scheme by assisting in providing car parking facilities close to Queen’s Building. Sue Waddington, assistant city mayor with responsibility for the Cultural Quarter, supported the scheme.

She said: “I’m delighted to see this beautiful building being renovated. For too long it has been neglected, but now it is being brought back into use and will take its place in the centre of the Cultural Quarter as one of the city’s most attractive landmarks”.

Built in 1897 as a shoe factory, the property is Flemish in design.