A new restaurant opening on the site of a former bank is the latest boost for part of Brighton.
The conversion of the old Santander bank in London Road into a new eatery is the latest boost amid a drop in vacancy rates for premises to 8% – half what it was in 2012.
It is hoped the new restaurant will follow in the footsteps of the Al Campo Lounge, Hare and Hounds, Shuffle Bar and Kitchen, Carlito Burrito and Meat Liquor, who have all enjoyed successful openings in the past six months.
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This year there have been 19 planning applications submitted for the street compared to 30 for the whole of 2010.
The resurgence is set to continue next month with the full opening of the Open Market with up to 50 traders.
And the new street art in nearby Elder Place and Providence Place will feature in walking tours as part of the Brighton Fringe on Saturday and May 17.
Restaurant owner Essy Sharanizadeh, who already runs Al-Nakhl in West Street and Bon Appetit in North Street, is the latest to seek to benefit from the London Road recovery after he submitted plans for an all you can eat restaurant in the former bank site, which has been unoccupied since September.
He hopes to open by the first week of September.
He said: “We are hopeful of being successful in London Road, there are so many residents due to be in that area in the future.
“The kind of food we are serving is suitable for students on a low budget.”
Andy Parsons, from Brighton-based Yelo Architects, is currently working on a project to improve existing flats in the road.
He said: “It does definitely feel that things are really starting to kick off in an area which has needed it for quite a while.
“The catalyst is the student housing and the open market. To regenerate an area you need the foot traffic, you need people living in the |area, and when they both open it will really |take off.
“You will find when the values go up in an area, developers will find opportunities and you can expect to see quite a few applications.”
Joe Nichols, manager of the London Road Portas Pilot regeneration scheme, said while there was “still a long way to go”, there were lots of positives to report including improved relationships with existing traders and lots of “cool businesses” moving in.
For more information visit visitlondon-road.co.uk.