Fulham Town Hall will become a “quintessentially British” lifestyle emporium now Hammersmith & Fulham Council has agreed to sell the building to an Dory Ventures, an American retail and leisure group.
The council has sold the Grade II listed building as part of its asset reduction programme.
Dory Ventures owns Maclaren, the children’s product brand. They propose a “quintessentially British lifestyle emporium” that will support a flagship Maclaren showroom. This will be accompanied by boutique shops that will showcase the smaller retailer, and will also feature Dory’s Laser Performance (sailing dinghies) and Albert Thurston brands, plus a restaurant. The upper floors will be extended and converted to provide 15 new homes.
In order to respect the Town Hall’s heritage and ensure ongoing public access to the building, Dory proposes to maintain the former Council Chamber as an “educational bar”, where there will be public interest and safety demonstrations of Maclaren products, and community events and lectures.
The council and Lambert Smith Hampton commissioned a report to assess the retail viability of the building and the retail market demand in Fulham. The findings indicate there is very real potential to grow retail in the town centre, and build on the destination attraction that Maclaren will create.
Cllr Nick Botterill, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, said: ”This exciting and innovative scheme will provide Fulham Town Hall with a new lease of life, while respecting the building’s rich historical character and public heritage. We are confident that this scheme will reinvigorate Fulham, improve the council’s finances by significantly reducing our debt levels, create numerous jobs and launch a new era of prosperity for this famous building.”
Dory must now obtain both planning permission and Listed Building Consent for its proposed scheme.