Proposals to turn Sunderland’s Joplings site into a £10million hotel have been checked in with planners.
The former department store, in John Street, has stood empty since it shut in June 2010 and had been subject to a previous plan by the Hilton group.
It will also see an iconic building back into use.Graham Phillips
The planning permission granted for that project expired last summer, leading Sanguine Hospitality Limited to launch its own scheme for the site.
It wants to create a 122-bed hotel covering the first, second and third floors of the five-storey building, with shop space to remain on the ground floor for other ventures to occupy.
The proposals are at an early stage, but if planning permission is granted in the coming months, Sanguine says it could open to guests by summer 2017. The firm is in negotiations with the InterContinental Hotel Group, which could see the hotel run as a franchise under its Holiday Express brand.
Sanguine’s development director Graham Phillips said: “This is going to be key in assisting the regeneration of that area.
“We met with a councillor the other day and said it would be great to have for that part of the city, which is up and coming.
“It will also see an iconic building back into use.”
Sanguine has previously worked on projects with Hilton, which has since moved onto land next to the Stadium of Light, to build one of its Hilton Garden Inn brand hotels.
That is expected to start welcoming visitors this spring.
The Joplings building is owned by Invest Tech, which took charge in the aftermath of it closing, and has been working with Sanguine on the plans.
The closure of the shop led to the loss of 100 jobs after parent firm Vergo Retail went into administration.