Manchester site with planning consent for 69-bed boutique sold off asking price of £4m to new hotel chain

Dry bar

The site of a ‘legendary’ city centre bar and hotel development in Manchester has been sold off an asking price of £4m to hotel chain with plans to develop a LUMA-branded property.

The prime spot in the heart of the Northern Quarter, which currently trades as the Dry Bar across the ground and basement floors, was sold with planning permission, obtained by the previous owners, for a 69-bed boutique hotel to be developed across the four floors.

The property was put on the market last summer and has now been sold to a consortium of Singapore-based Heeton Holdings. The group plans to open a LUMA-branded hotel at the site, following the launch of its first LUMA boutique hotel in Hammersmith earlier this year.

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The chain is looking to expand its existing UK operations and portfolio.

Keith Stringer, an associate director at Christie & Co who handled the sale comments: “We were delighted to act in relation to the sale of the iconic Dry Bar and the associated hotel development opportunity. City centre freehold leisure opportunities remain highly desirable assets which attract interest from both national and international investors and leisure operators alike. We continue to actively seek similar opportunities to meet current demand.”

Considered one of Manchester’s longest-standing drinking establishments, Dry Bar’s doors were first opened in 1989 by Factory Records. The idea was to replicate the ‘cafe culture’ of Barcelona and Los Angeles.

The late Tony Wilson, co-founder of both Factory Records and Hacienda, and a dominator of the Manchester club music scene, stated that “Dry was to be to the bars what Hacienda is to the clubs.”

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