AN ERA ended and another began in Shepherd's Bush on Monday morning when work started to turn the historic Pavilion into a luxury hotel.
Builders were at the site in the early hours to begin a project that will see the Listed former cinema and bingo hall turned into a luxury 322-room hotel, run by Asian firm Kosmopolito.
The Pavilion, which overlooks Shepherd's Bush Green, has been empty since 2001 having opened as cinema in 1923 and later becoming a bingo hall. Developers Chelsfield say the new 11-storey hotel, to be called the Dorsett Regency, will retain the building's historic facade but will have a new glass roof.
Two restaurants, a bar, conference room, and gym will be built inside while sixty new cycle spaces will be put outside. Kosmopolito currently owns hotels exclusively in South Est Asia, particularly in Hong Kong, and is making its European debut with the Dorsett Regency, which its website says will be a four-star 'trendy business hotel'.
The chain believes there's a huge market for rooms in Shepherd's Bush with the imminent transformation of the northern part of Shepherd's Bush, known as the White City Opportunity Area, which will see an expanded Westfield and a new campus for Imperial College London.
Building work is expected to be finished by 2014.
Meanwhile, Ibis has been confirmed as the operators of a new 128-room hotel in Atlantic House, which is part of the West 12 Shopping Centre. The 128-room hotel will have a new lobby, restaurant and bar on the ground floor in Rockley Road.
The offices and shop units which make up the building have been empty for about three years and it is hoped the transformation of the site will contribute to the wider regeneration of the area.
Accor, which runs the chain, is merging its Ibis, Ibis Styles and Ibis Budget into one brand. Managing director Thomas Dubaere, who confirmed the new hotel would open in the summer, said: "2012 will be a busy year for Accor with the rollout of our new Ibis brand and a strong development pipeline, and this hotel plays an integral part of both."