A businessman in Stockton has revealed ambitious plans to transform a derelict pub in the town into a chic boutique hotel, at a cost of £1m.
Pub owner and property developer John Taylor wants to develop the former Manhattan pub, which has been vacant for the last eight years, into a boutique hotel with “first class rooms”.
Taylor bought the property at auction and had originally planned to create high-end apartments on the site, before realising that a boutique hotel could bring so much more to the town.
Speaking to the Gazette Live, he said: “The council has invested £38m in the regeneration of the high street, this builds on the momentum.
“It’s the most attractive building on the high street, with fantastic features. It’s such a shame it’s been boarded up for eight years – this is the right time to bring it back to life.”
The Manhattan has an extensive history, starting list as The Talbot in 1960s with an upstairs snooker room and basement bar. It was then Fitzgerald’s pub before becoming Manhattan in 2005.
Taylor also owns Vault Bar and Room 21 in Stockton, is chair of the town’s Pubwatch scheme and is also on the Stockton Business Improvement District (BID) panel.
He added: “When we got into the building last week and saw how nice some of the features are on the ground floor, we thought ‘this needs renovating as a bar’.
“We have an application to convert the upper floors into apartments, but a boutique hotel is what it needs – it will be unique, there’s nothing like it in Stockton. We want to make the rooms first-class.”
Taylor is aiming for a 2017 completion date of the project.