A well known Hove hotel which has laid empty for almost four years has finally been sold, with the expectation it will be turned into luxury flats.
Boards went up on The Lansdowne Place Hotel in Lansdowne Place closed just after Christmas 2012, and neighbours feared it could be many more years yet before anything happened to bring the site back into use when For Sale signs went back up at the end of summer.
But estate agents Mishon Mackay say contracts have now been exchanged for the hotel, which has planning permission to be turned into 50 flats and mews houses, knocking down the middle extension and building two penthouses on its roof.
Agent Matthew Hollywood said: “A local property company has exchanged contracts with completion planned before Christmas. So good news for all concerned, especially the neighbours who have had to endure the buildings deteriorating condition over the recent years.
“We are now confident that the building will enjoy the investment it deserves and be converted into high-end apartments; which should ensure that the long-term prospects of the building are now secured.”
Neighbour Dan Wilson said: “I’m certainly glad that it won’t be left to decay – but I don’t suppose there is an affordable (whatever that means) element.”
Mr Hollywood added that one particular neighbour would be sorry to see the hotel converted – a tom cat called Eric who had made the empty building his playground over the summer.
He said: “I visited the hotel a month back and found a large tom cat chasing pigeons down the corridors of the hotel. The hotel is infested with Pigeons but the cat was a new occupant. It’s also a bit of a creepy property so a flying pigeon being chased by a galloping cat frightened the life out of me.
“The RSPCA could not help as he was not in distress – to the contrary he was having the time of his life and was clearly well fed.
“We printed a flyer and dropped it around the hotel and attached it to the lamp posts, and had a lot of calls from people who had lost cats. In the end we found the right owner of Eric, a three-year-old tom who is known for going missing days at a time.
“Eric’s owner visited with us and tried to coax him out but he wasn’t coming home. We decided to close-off the pigeon entrance points in the hope that the cat would go home when he ran out of food.
“After three months away from home Eric finally arrived home at 3am last month. The family were delighted, the daughter especially. Eric is doing well but seems to have gone off game based cat food!”
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