* UPDATE June 2016: Building is virtually complete. When time permits,a photograph of the new hotel and possibly an old pic of the Gibbons premises will be inserted
TRAVELODGE today confirmed that it is going ahead with plans for a hotel in mid-Hackney. The budget chain will build an 80-bed hotel on the car park on the site of the fire-destroyed Gibbons furniture shop at 7-19 Amhurst Road E8 1LL.
Travelodge said that the hotel forms part of a broader £20 million redevelopment that includes 50 serviced flats and two ground-floor shop spaces. Contractor Anglo Holt is due to start work this spring and the building will open, Travelodge expects, in summer next year, 2014.
Neil Short, Travelodge’s North London development manager, said: “The new hotel is in a fantastic location in Amhurst Road, next to Hackney Central station… We are delighted to be opening what will be the first branded hotel in the heart of Hackney.”
Tony O’Brien, Travelodge’s UK development manager, added: “Our London target list has a further 48 locations in the capital where we are seeking to open new hotels.”
The 1831-founded Gibbons is still fondly remembered in the borough since its handsome street frontage and some adjacent buildings were dramatically and mysteriously razed.
Part of the facade of the Gibbons store was saved, after a councillor pressed Hackney to act.
Vincent Stops told Loving Dalston: “An undemolished, but severely damaged, part of the Gibbons building stood for several years, supported by scaffolding and without a roof. Hackney council, acting on my concern, as a member for the area, started enforcement action, which has eventually led to its repair and partial rebuilding. Happily, the facade has been retained.”
Perhaps residents can also take compensation from the coming availability of low-cost hotel rooms.
Travelodge told Loving Dalston: “We know there is great demand in Hackney for good-quality, affordable accommodation.
“Rooms start at £19 a night, if booked early enough. So local people will have a place near by where visiting relatives can stay, rather than the sofa.”
David Altheer 110113