Situated between two very central semi-pedestrianised retail streets, the Howells Building is currently the House of Fraser department store and is one of the most well-known and architecturally impressive buildings in Cardiff.
Saxbury was delighted to be instructed as the sole agent for the hospitality scheme within the 1.7-acre site. Liaising with the architects, we managed to completely re-imagine the site and developed three potential hotel schemes that we believe would fit well within the overall development plans and have a positive impact on the city’s local community.
The hotel scheme would accommodate 214 rooms across 16 floors and would also include a 6,235 sq. ft roof terrace and bar, as well as a gym / fitness spa, conference area and retail space.
The apart-hotel plans would include 134 studios over 10 floors with a 4,000 sq. ft ground floor for a third-party bar or cafe. The scheme would also have a hotel gym / fitness spa.
The boutique hotel plans would include 67 luxury suites spread over four floors. This scheme is located at a different part of the scheme and looks over St Mary Street. The ground floor would accommodate a restaurant or retail space and an entrance lobby.
The site is within walking distance from Cardiff Central station, within sight of the Principality Stadium (formally known as the Millennium Stadium) and is located within the most valuable retail and residential zone.
Our client, Azeemeh Zaheer, CEO of Naissance Capital Real Estate, commented: "I confirm that we fully intend to keep a large retail presence and keen to keep the Howells name very much alive.”
"It’s a big part of the City’s heritage. We must remember that the site is very large, and no single retailer will require the full 277,000 sq. feet.
"Many of the people working onsite will tell you that they are not fully utilizing the entire space. There is room to create more business alongside them, as well as, upgrade the building.
"That, in turn, would double the amount of jobs. We want to help our retailer(s) increase footfall, as well as, create a good experience for the shoppers. That means we are analysing a number of options that add value to the retail experience.
"A boutique hotel is only one option which may, or, may not happen. We are also looking at new restaurants and leisure activities. Needless to say, whatever the complimentary options might be, the core of the Howells site will be retail.
"As the changing nature of retail requires an integrated approach to succeed; experiential retail is the future. What I mean by that is that there must be a strong human element. Retailers are creating more activities for their customers either by product demonstrations and talks, or having onsite fashion shows, and other fun activities to create a fun alternative to online shopping."
The property brochure can be downloaded from the project page and provides full details, a schedule of areas and floor plans for all three schemes.
Saxbury invites all interested hospitality companies to contact us with their suggestions for one of the proposed schemes.