Aparthotel development at Oxford cinema given go-ahead

14th July 2023 |

Proposals to transform an Oxford cinema into an aparthotel and community hub have been given the go-ahead by local councillors.

Cinema operator Odeon’s lease at the property at 38-40 George Street is set to expire in September 2024.

Oxford City Council has been carrying out a procurement exercise since September 2022 to determine the best use for the site.

The £37m development will see the property demolished and redeveloped, with the ground floor being used as a community space and the upper five floors converted into a long-stay hotel.

The proposals are set to meet modern building standards and will feature windows on all sides of the building instead of its existing large blank walls in hopes of improving the local atmosphere.

The plans also outline social value commitments through the construction and lease term, including apprenticeships for young people in Oxford and paying all staff at least the Oxford Living Wage, including aparthotel staff.

Following the cabinet’s approval, the new contract and lease could be signed in August or September. The council will then aim to secure planning permission for the new building by summer of 2024.

Demolition and construction is expected to take about three years, with the aparthotel and community hub set to open in 2027.

The new operator will have a 40-year lease on the building.

Despite Odeon’s closure, Oxford will still have four cinemas through operators Curzon, Vue, Phoenix Picturehouse, and Ultimate Picture Palace.

Councillor Ed Turner, deputy leader of Oxford City Council, said: “This is a once-in-a-generation redevelopment of one of Oxford city centre’s iconic buildings.

“We are extremely excited to see the building transformed to provide a new community hub in the heart of Oxford city centre. It is unfortunate that Odeon has announced the closure of their cinema in Magdalen Street, and we hope they may reconsider this decision. 

“The aparthotel will also encourage more overnight stays in Oxford city centre, providing a significant boost to hospitality businesses, particularly George Street’s theatres, restaurants and bars, and it will provide valuable income to support frontline services such as youth workers and grants to voluntary sector organisations.”


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