HOPES are high an iconic building in the centre of Droylsden, which has been the source of argument and discussion for several years, can be reborn as an aparthotel.
Ask people what they think the Concord Suite should be and you would probably get 100 different answers.
But owners New-Era Properties have ideas to turn it into accommodation so people going to either nearby Manchester City or the new Co-Op Live arena being built next to it can stay close by.
And Tameside Council leader – and Droylsden councillor Ged Cooney – is all for it.
He said as people got a glimpse of what lies inside: “They’ve got a cracking vision of what they looking at – things like aparthotels inside it.
“You’ve got a tram here, you’ve a 20,000-seater arena coming alongside the football stadium – there’s a massive growth and potential here.
“You can already see it with venues like The Silly Country, The Jam Works and Industry, as well as other bars opening.
“People are asking ‘What’s happening in Droylsden town centre?’
“People have to understand the precinct is privately-owned, it’s not owned by us and it’s a silly thing called a floating lease.
“We own the inside and the top part of the Concord, so we’re dealing with the owners of the rest, New-Era, and we’re having good negotiations.
“There’s an evening economy here but what people see and ask is, ‘Can we do anything with the Concord?’
“There are legal processes to go through, we can’t just award or give it to someone by law. It’s not our money, the council has to go through a process.
“But we’re dealing with that through New-Era and I hope they do the work on the inside as they’ve got fantastic enthusiasm.”
Patrick Franks from New-Era Properties talked through their hopes for the Concord and the surrounding area.
And Cllr Cooney believes their plans could lead to a rejuvenation of Droylsden and extra money to the town.
He added: “They own the whole of the precinct – the shops, the car park at the back – they’ve got that enthusiasm and they’ve put their money there.
“It’s just tidying up one or two things and hopefully we can get started.
“What that does then for us is it beings it inside and the top part of the Concord back to life.
“There’s already work going on at the shops around the precinct and they want to change what the offer is. It can’t just be in the evening, they want it to go through the day.
“One side will be busy, they’re trying to entice people to the other, with the tram stop and everything else.
“There’s a lot going on and with their financial resources and our support, I believe we’ll realise that potential.”