Designed by Cardiff’s Rio Architects, the proposed Castle Quarter Courtyard regeneration scheme will see a former nightclub behind High Street and Duke Street Arcades demolished.
A new entrance will be created through an existing passageway off High Street Arcade.
The development is partly inspired by Soho’s Kingly Court, which is located off Carnaby Street and home to numerous bars and restaurants.
The Castle Quarter Courtyard will create four new spaces designed for independent bars and restaurants around a central, open courtyard.
Original features which are currently hidden will be exposed and a new large balcony running around the first floor has been incorporated into the design as part of the plans to enhance the features of the Grade II listed arcade buildings.
Following the model of successful bar and restaurant developments in neighbouring Castle Arcade, the development will also incorporate several of the arcade’s current retail units - and open up unused spaces on the first and second floors to create more flexible spaces, better suited to the needs of hospitality and leisure businesses.
“With this development, we have a unique opportunity to create new contemporary leisure spaces, regenerating derelict spaces and ensuring a bright future for one of our charming and characterful arcades,” says Phillip Morris, a partner at EJ Hales that is leading the development team.
“This site has been a tricky prospect for redevelopment in recent years. It’s trapped on all sides by the arcades and has no street frontage.”
“The enforced break from Covid this year has given us a fresh perspective on the best way to bring the site back to life - replacing the old nightclub and opening up the site for new independent leisure and hospitality opportunities.”
The Castle Quarter Arcades estate includes more than 110 retail and leisure units.
It occupies a substantial area at the heart of Cardiff city centre, providing a link between major attractions such as Cardiff Castle, Bute Park and the Civic Centre and the capital’s main retail hubs.
The Arcades are owned by a Mansford fund and the development team includes property consultants EJ Hales, Rio Architects, TLT Solicitors, Avison Young and Knight Frank.
Plans have been submitted to Cardiff Council planning department.