The new owners of one of Hull’s most iconic city centre buildings, have revealed further details of their plans to transform the building and reopen as Hammonds of Hull.
In an announcement today, they’re hoping to open the new Hammonds building in July, depending on the lockdown roadmap, and have said that “locals should expect a vibrant mix of dining, organic grocery, retail, food, music and culture.”
The site, which was formally a House of Fraser single-use department store in the centre of town, fell into administration in 2018. As one of the most iconic buildings in the city centre, and a landmark rich in heritage, the development company RoK Operations realised its potential and the importance it has within the city.
12 months later, following little interest from the property market and its institutional agents, the city of Hull was left with a vacant shell.
A bold move ensued to revolutionise the space and the RoK Ops Team, with the support of the landlord,began an ambitious refurbishment and regeneration plan. The operations company have worked 24/7 over the last two years to create an exciting concept that will give the city centre a new lease of life.
Latest developments include the appointment of coveted F&B guru Des McDonald of Des McDonald Associates to help drive forward the Food Hall and artisan market into a unique offer.
The new Food Hall, which will occupy the ground floor, supports local producers, growers, makers and bakers, and has been curated by food and beverage expert Des McDonald to deliver a dynamic and unique food driven experience direct to the high street.
“Knowing Yorkshire’s reputation for great quality produce and discovering the local community’s passion for food, I was excited at the concept to regenerate an iconic city centre building into something completely unique.” said Des who has extensive experience in F&B and more than 35 years in hospitality, including an impressive track record of developing, opening and operating over 150 restaurants, bars, cafes and coffee shops.
He has the distinction of having opened one of the original Ivy restaurants, Soho House and the world-famous Annabel’s nightclub, and has an impressive portfolio of restaurants across America, Europe and the Middle East, including Selfridges and Eataly.
“Since working with the team, we’ve developed something really special – we’ll be working with around 100 partners, vendors and suppliers and hope to be creating around 400 new jobs.” continued Des.
“Showing a strong commitment to the city and to the project, Des and his team will take up residence in new offices in Hull city centre and will be looking to connect with independent vendors both locally and nationally.
“With the HoH Food Hall development set for a summer launch, the RoK Operations team have since leased two further units in Worcester and Cheshire.
Eann Ramsey-Smith, Project Manager for the new development at ROK Opps added: “The High Street is undergoing major changes, with the Covid-19 pandemic accelerating huge shifts in the way people shop. The food hall platform offers local producers the ability to plug and play, creating a diverse offer at each location, where our focus is on the local supply chain, local labour, zero waste, local partnerships and the ability to create a vibrant community in our buildings.
“We’re developing a unique concept of Artisan Food Halls, which focus on visual production. Combining food retail, hospitality and culture, all of our food halls will be independent and completely unique; we don’t have a cookie-cutter approach.”
The new Hammonds of Hull will have offices on the first and second floors of the building, occupied solely by ResQ call centre who will use it to operate their Vodafone contract. The basement will also be transformed but details are yet to be released.