Hortons’ Estate Ltd has completed the lettings of three more retail units at The Grand, on Birmingham’s Colmore Row.

Gusto Manchester (3)
Restaurant and bar operator Living Ventures is bringing its GUSTO and The Alchemist brands to Birmingham, following the opening of its first bar and restaurant in the city, The Botanist, on Temple Street, last year.

Hortons is in the process of restoring the Grade II* listed former Grand Hotel building. The retail accommodation along Colmore Row comprises ten units totaling more than 24,000 sq ft.

Living Ventures is taking units 8, 9 and 10 at The Grand. The space totals approximately 10,000 sq ft over the ground and lower ground floors.

GUSTO, inspired by the traditional grand cafes of Europe, will occupy 5,191 sq ft on the corner of Colmore Row and Church Street. The Alchemist, a bar specialising in cocktails, has the neighbouring 4,912 sq ft unit fronting Colmore Row.

Gusto and The Alchemist have taken a 25-year lease at a rent of £215,000 per annum. Living Ventures will take control of the Colmore Row premises in spring 2016, with Gusto and The Alchemist expected to open in the summer.

Living Ventures, which has an anticipated turnover of circa £100 million, has 42 venues around the country, under seven different brands.

Jeremy Roberts, chief executive officer of Cheshire-based Living Ventures, said:  “We have had our sights on Birmingham for some time; finding the right locations is always key. Colmore Row is the city’s most prestigious street and The Grand undoubtedly its most iconic building.

“The Botanist, which we opened in April, he been popular from day one. We look forward to bringing two different but equally exciting brands to the city.”

The Grand Hotel closed its doors in 2002, but both the office and retail accommodation along Colmore Row continued to be occupied until early 2015 when Hortons’ began the reconfiguration and refurbishment of this space to bring it up to modern occupier standards.

The family-owned property company has invested £14m in the restoration project to date, which includes the restoration of the facades, installation of a new roof and remodeling of the shops and offices.

Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership and Birmingham City Council have recently awarded Hortons’ a £6m grant towards the cost of the interiors works at the hotel.

Tony Green, chief executive at Hortons’ Estate, said: “Whilst a lot more work remains to be done to return The Grand to its former glory, getting the first new occupiers signed up is a significant milestone and will restore life to the building.”