A VACANT site left behind after a devastating fire could be given a second life as a city centre hotel.

The building that once housed Victoria’s nightclub, Holland and Barrett, City Palace restaurant and The Works, has been razed to the ground following a devastating fire last year.

But, as the street continues to get back on its feet, developers are already looking to capitalise on its potential.

It is believed there will be a second planning application submitted for the site on 92

to 98 Sauchiehall Street.

Planning permission was previously granted for a hotel complex with a nightclub and rooftop terrace in the upper floors of the building and was reported to be nearing completion ahead of the fire.

Plan for the future of the site are expected to become clear in the next few months.

The building left standing after the demolition is also expected to be dramatically changed.

Plans have been lodged to create 27 serviced apartments in the former Greaves Sports site.

Read more: Sauchiehall Street blaze may NOT have started in Victoria's nightclub

An application for the development is currently making its way through ­Glasgow City Council’s planning department.

Bennett Developments and Consulting has submitted the plans for the four-storey building on behalf of applicant Sava Estates.

Lauder’s, which was forced to close after the Victoria’s Nightclub blaze, would remain in its current location if it is given the go-ahead.

The popular still remains closed following the blaze but owners have assured the Evening Times that it will be reopened.

Area manager Ryan McHenry said the refurbishment could cost up to £1million but will see it transformed into a more modern pub and restaurant.

He added: “We could never just give up on it – it’s a huge business. Not even just from a company perspective, morally it’s the right thing to do. There’s a team and customers that have been there for years.”

While one of the biggest businesses disrupted by the blaze now sees the incident as a blessing in disguise.

The Pavilion was closed for almost six months following the fire, prompting a public campaign to allow them back into the building.

But, manager Iain Gordon, below, has said he now believes the event allowed him to carry out vital work to the historic building.

He said: “The fire has ­actually been good for us at the end of the day.

“We’ve closed for a period of time and done work that never would have been done had we been open.

Read more: The day Glasgow stood still as iconic Sauchiehall Street burned

“We got a chance to put in air conditioning in the bars, replace seating in the upper balcony and put in a new fire alarm system.

“We kind of took the opportunity while it was shut to do the work like painting and decorating.

“Although it was distressing at the time – we didn’t get in for a long time – it ­probably done us good.”

It’s only now, one year on, the theatre is beginning to notice the blaze’s true effect.

Iain said: “This has probably affected us more now because we would have been booking this period during the period we were closed and because there was a lot of uncertainty about when we would reopen a lot of promoters took shows to other venues.

“I don’t think footfall has returned to anywhere near what it was.

“I think it’s sad we could lose retail spaces to things like apartments ... We’ve lost a lot of retail on this street in the last year. It brings the street down.”

Despite both the Sauchiehall Street fires causing significant disruption for workers, the Sauchiehall Avenue project is expected to be completed on time.

By the end of May, it is hoped that the street will be given a new lease of life in time for summer.

Glasgow Chamber of Commerce says the fire was an opportunity to make much-needed improvements to the street.

Stuart Patrick, chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, said: “Both the Victoria’s nightclub and the Glasgow School of Art fires were extremely unfortunate events. However as we search for a silver lining, we have been presented with an opportunity to focus the city’s attention on making significant improvements to Sauchiehall Street.

“The Avenues investment is well under way with clear transformations visible from end to end, radically improving the street’s look and feel to maintain Glasgow’s strong high street offering.

He added: “Local businesses are working with the council to deliver a masterplan for the street that will drive footfall and increase business opportunities. Positive initiatives that will attract visitors is very much at the forefront of that engagement, with a street festival on the cards for later this year.

Read more: Glasgow workers tell of fear trapped inside Sauchiehall Street blaze cordon

“One year on from the Victoria nightclub fire, it’s vital that the city and its business community continue to push forward for the rebirth of a more inviting, engaging and attractive Sauchiehall Street.”

Councillor David McDonald, has said that the council continues to be committed to seeing the street regenerated.

He said: “The fire at Victoria’s and the one that followed at ­Glasgow School of Art and the ABC were hugely difficult for Sauchiehall Street and the wider community. Both left behind severely damaged buildings that threatened everything and everyone around them – and, on densely-populated and busy streets, that meant a safe return to anything approaching normality took time.

“Frustratingly, the fires also came at a time when the council was investing more than £7million in Sauchiehall Street, using our City Deal to enhance the vibrancy of the area. We have made it a priority to ensure work is completed, as a first step in wider, longer-term regeneration of one of our country’s most famous streets. We want to see it again become a place where people want to work, play and live.”

However, for many of the street’s businesses much more must be done before the council’s dream becomes a reality.

In a statement, Sauchiehall Street Open for Business said: “After two devastating fires, businesses and residents on Sauchiehall St and surrounding streets were left to pick up the pieces ... We hope the Avenues project, when completed, brings new life to the street, however, this should not be at the detriment of businesses who have to deal with one thing after another.

“We have more invested in this street than anyone else and after a stressful year, we hope the council can show that small businesses matter.”

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