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HBG and Kier vie to revive the Palais

CONTRACTS HAMMERSMITH

TWO BIDDERS will go head to head to revamp a famous London music venue into a mixed-use office and leisure complex.

The Hammersmith Palais in west London has played host to the likes of U2 and Oasis in the past, but the building will be demolished to make way for a new £22 million development on Shepherds Bush Road.

HBG and Kier returned their bids last week and the venue's owner, London and Regional Properties, will choose a winner by the end of October.

A project source said: 'The designs are still being sketched at this stage so there's nothing definite, but there is going to be a lot of work involved. The whole thing is being knocked down and rebuilt.'

The scheme will involve building a multilevel complex between two and six storeys high. The ground and mezzanine f loors will be used for leisure facilities and will include a restaurant.

The development will also feature a three-storey pavilion to mark the entrance to the site. The remaining f loors will be used for office space, rising up against railway structures that run behind the site.

The total size of the development will be 11,000 sq m.

London and Regional Properties is owned by property magnates Ian and Richard Livingstone, who are worth a combined £2.9 billion.

As well as the Hammersmith Palais, their company owns the Hilton Hotel on Park Lane and the Empire cinema on Leicester Square.

The Hammersmith Palais opened in 1919 as a jazz venue, but h it the head l ines recently for violent crime at its club nights.

The Metropolitan Police asked Hammersmith and Fulham Council to revoke its licence by using new laws that came in last year, but it was decided to cut the venue's opening hours instead.

In July this year, the nightclub's operator, Barvest, went into receivership on the day that it was due to pay its rent. It is undecided if the new leisure facilities will continue to be used as a live music venue.