A US hotel group has chosen one of Birmingham's most famous yet neglected buildings to launch its first operation in Europe.
Dream Hotels, which runs venues in the US and Asia, has signed up to open a new hotel in the city as part of the regeneration of Methodist Central Hall, in Corporation Street.
The news comes as plans are lodged with Birmingham City Council to carry out a wholesale renovation of the Grade II*-listed building worth at least £35 million and which will create around 100 new jobs.
London-based property investor Ciel Capital acquired the hall in May and plans to add a three-storey roof extension to create a 147-bedroom hotel and 75-bedroom apart-hotel, to be operated by the applicant's sister company Stow-Away.
There will also be a rooftop bar and restaurant and the retention of existing ground floor units for use as retail, offices or café space.
The building's iconic hall will be opened up for public access and used as a 'gastro hall' with a show kitchen and there will be a mezzanine bar featuring the original organ which will be restored.
Externally, its detailed terracotta façades will also be cleaned and damaged tiles repaired.
Ciel Capital is working with local music, community and heritage groups to explore ways to commemorate the building's past uses, such as a music venue which played host to acts like David Bowie and Pulp.
New sketches also show how the building's rooftop extension will look (above and below).
Ciel Capital's chief executive Vedrana Bilanovic Riley said: "We are very excited to be submitting our plans for the former Methodist Central Hall.
"The project team has been working hard over the past few months to ensure that our plans deliver a sensitive restoration of the iconic building, all the while bringing the site back into life to provide new retail and leisure options for locals, plus employment and training opportunities.
"Our vision from the outset of this project was to deliver a sensitive restoration of the hall which is respectful to its features while guaranteeing the building's future can be secured and enjoyed by the public."
Previously used as a nightclub, Methodist Central Hall was designed by Ewan Harper & James A. Harper and built in 1904.
Its distinctive tower and terracotta exterior has made it a city landmark but it has fallen into a state of disrepair in recent years with vegetation growing out of the upper floors, prompting Historic England to add it to its Heritage at Risk register.
It has been the subject of many different planning applications over the years.
In 1989, developers wanted to covert the hall into offices and a wine bar while just a year later plans were unveiled to create new law courts, shops and banks in the historic building.
In 2010, plans were approved to create 47 new apartments along with restaurants and shops.