Birmingham-based Horton Estates – run by Peter Horton, 43, is embarking on ambitious plans to return the city’s Grand Hotel to its former glory.
The £30 million scheme will transform the Colmore Row listed building into a luxury 152 room hotel with eight suites and a new entrance in Church Street. The façade will be restored and the famous Grosvenor Suite renovated. Shops which form part of the hotel’s frontage will also be refurbished. The restoration work will be carried out by Aldridge-based Midland Conservation.
Elsewhere, things are going well for Horton Estates. The company is developing a three acre site in Ibstock Road, Coventry for West Midlands Ambulance Service to be completed in the spring. This work follows other projects for West Midlands Ambulance Service including a new building in Ashmore Lake Way in Willenhall and a 14,000 sq ft ambulance hub in Hollymoor Point, Rubery.
The Hagley Road Retail Park, which was acquired by Hortons in September 2010, is now fully let. In addition, Hortons is expanding operations for China’s biggest lighting manufacturer – NVC Manufacturing – on its site at Hollymoor Point. NVC has acquired the unit it was previously leasing and has commissioned Hortons to supply a second unit.
The Colmore Row company has made significant acquisitions and has a valuable portfolio which attracts rents in excess of £15 million a year. The company is estimated to be worth around £115 million.
Peter Horton leads the Horton family as deputy chairman on the board of Horton Estates. His father, 72 year-old Michael Horton, stepped down as chairman in 2008 after seven years in the post and 44 years as a director.
He was succeeded by Richard Samuda – a non-family member – while Peter Horton is now the senior family member on the board.
The current portfolio amounts to two million sq ft of premises, let to more than 600 tenants. Most of the company’s investments – some 60 per cent – are in Birmingham with nearly 20 per cent in Wolverhampton.
The company has agreed a new £30 million finance package with Swedish banking group Handelsbanken. The deal will allow continued funding of projects across the city for the next five years.
Michael Horton’s great, great grandfather Isaac - a pig farmer and butcher from Lichfield – began the company in 1871 when he acquired the Midland Hotel in Birmingham – which is now the Macdonald Burlington - and set about developing it. He also built the Grand Hotel and by the time of his death in 1880 had established a substantial property business.
Since then Hortons Estate has become one of the Midlands most prominent family-owned property companies.
Isaac is buried at Key Hill Cemetery in the Jewellery Quarter.
Hortons and its staff are supporters of a number of worthy causes, and raise money for military patients at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Hortons is also an enthusiastic supporter of the arts and music.