Plans have been unveiled to turn a derelict building on Brighton seafront into a luxury hotel. The 40-room venue called The Louche would be equipped with a rooftop bar and restaurant, in hopes of attracting more high-spending visitors to Brighton.
Built in 1830, 10-12 Grand Junction Road originally comprised three separate houses, which were combined and operated as a private hotel in 1861. An additional floor was added to number 11 in 1897, and from 1911 , the building was known as the Palace Pier Hotel until the mid-1980s when it was redeveloped and renamed Princes Hotel. In 2015 it reopened as Hostel Point, providing cheap accommodation for backpackers, but it has since closed and fallen into disrepair.
As part of the renovation, owners James Randall and Lucky Gohler plan to add a rooftop extension for a terrace bar and restaurant, which would be open to the public. The proposed fifth-floor extension would be set back from the front of the building, with visitor seating at the front and sides of the building, offering panoramic sea views.
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James said: “Our vision for The Louche is to recommission this beautiful beachfront building and restore its former purpose as a hotel, attract more high-spending visitors to the town and boost local businesses. , as well as creating new jobs.
“This corner of Brighton is ripe for respectful redevelopment, as part of a wider regeneration of the seafront. It needs major investment as the site at 10-12 Grand Junction Road has been neglected.
“If a positive outcome cannot be achieved, there is a danger that this site will remain derelict for at least another decade and negatively impact the building next door – Pier Nine Casino. Lucky and I both grew up near Brighton So at Lancing we know the city and we want to create something here that we can be proud of.”
Lucky said: “Currently there are hardly any rooftop bars and surprisingly no Michelin star restaurants yet in Brighton. Our city attracts millions of visitors every year but we know there are a shortage of accommodation and an appetite for more upscale options.. La Louche would help fill this gap, while providing a vibrant new venue for locals and local jobs.
The plans for Le Louche were drawn up by award-winning London architects Dexter Moren Associates, specialists in hotel and hospitality design.
Darren Johnson, Head of Conferences and Business Development at VisitBrighton, has previously expressed his support for breathing new life into 10-12 Grand Junction Road. He said: “The Department of Tourism and Leisure would support any work that would bring the building back into use and refurbish the exteriors in an area that acts as a gateway to the city for our business visitors and Recreation.”
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