Leicester’s grade II listed Silver Arcade is set to re-open in the city centre this September.
The arcade’s owners, Lukegate, have not yet rented any of the spaces to retailers but they are hopeful due to plenty of interest in the spaces which range from about £7,500 to £25,000-a-year.
Lukegate director Roger Chawla, a 61-year-old businessman, from Narborough, said he had no concerns about the empty units, and admitted he did not even envision the development making money.
He said: “It’s a labour of love, I don’t really expect to make a return.
“My father bought this place in 1985 and I’ve got some wonderful memories of it when I was younger.
“It had little, quaint shops and independent traders and I want to recapture that feeling and bring the place back to life.
“The facilities have been improved, but we’ve also kept the character with most of the original features.”
Silver Arcade, located in the heart of the city centre, has had a thorough £3million revamp to bring the precinct back to life.
There will be a restaurant on the top floor and a kitchen in the basement meant for demonstration which Mr Chawla hopes will attract celebrity chefs.
Lukegate have called in the help of consultants Lambert Smith Hampton to market the units.
Leicester director of the consultants Martin Herbert said he had been in discussion with numerous local, regional and national businesses – all keen to play a part in the arcade.
“I would hope that in three of four weeks’ time we’ll have about six to eight units under offer,” he said.
“We’re after eclectic, diverse retailers throughout the arcade such as mid to high range fashion, jewellers, delicatessens – and we’ve been in discussion with a chocolatier too.
“We’ve also been talking to some of the previous retailers who were here before the arcade closed 10 years ago.”
City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby has also backed this venture.
He said: “I am impressed with the level of care and commitment which the owners have put into the arcade.
“It is a remarkable landmark and one Leicester should be proud of.”