THE first stage of an expansive commercial refit of the building that once housed The Northern Daily Leader is set to be completed by July next year.
Lionheart Property Development directors Mark, Peter and Hala Sleiman lodged the development application with Tamworth Regional Council in October last year.
Stage one will be fitting a lift and refitting the original building and old rural press building into state-of-the-art commercial spaces, as well as a downstairs bar.
Stage two is to refit the second and third levels for commercial space.
This stage would see the north-western side of the building refurbished, and the basement become a prohibition bar-speakeasy. The exterior of the building would be restored and repainted.
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Here MARK SLEIMAN discusses the project and how his idea came to fruition.
Why did you decide to buy the old Northern Daily Leader building?
I’ve always been passionate about real estate. In particular, heritage property.
Combining my love for Australian history and work, made real estate a great fit.
I have always wanted to follow in my father’s footsteps in the commercial world of property, and [this] building was the perfect opportunity.
Can you discuss your plans to restore the building?
The building’s heritage is fundamental to Lionheart’s restoration; we’re restoring this beautiful building to its former glory.
Something of which our town can be proud. Starting with the basement bar and working our way up, with the commercial spaces available for local businesses.
When do you think the bar and speakeasy will be finished?
Expected completion for the full project is July 2018.
When did you start at PRD Nationwide and is real estate your passion?
I started at PRDnationwide Tamworth in 2010 as a personal assistant to Rob Philp.
I worked through the ranks and developed my sales career.
Now I am part of the director team, and a major shareholder in the business.
What made you interested in commercial property? Is this your key area?
I look forward to developing my commercial background utilising both my businesses PRDNationwide Tamworth and Lionheart Property Development.
Can you discuss some of the other projects you have in mind with your property development company Lionheart?
Who knows where the pride at Lionheart Property Development will go after our leader project.
Tamworth is our home and we are here to stay. I look forward to working alongside the most dynamic real estate office in Tamworth; PRDnationwide.