For decades Foxtons lead the way in estate agent branch design with its signature shiny green signs, lounge-style sofas, drinks bar and funky desks.
And for many rivals they irritatingly raised the bar of what the public expects of agent branches.
But now Foxtons has a contender which has taken branch design to the next level and that, planners have said, will “raise the standard”.
The company is Leeds-based student letting agent iFor Homes, which has just had plans for a novel take on the letting agency branch approved by Leeds City Council.
Northern Eye UK, the parent company of iFor Homes, has been given permission to convert a Victorian Grade II listed building in the centre of Leeds (see above) into a hybrid café and letting agency branch (see left), as well as two apartments to be created upstairs.
The new branch will be in the centre of city’s student area with both Leeds City College and Leeds Beckett University opposite.
What used to be a seedy bar (see below) and separate residential dwelling are to be turned into a single unit (see right) and the façade of the building upgraded and refurbished.
Plans seen by The Negotiator show the space created separated into two areas, one with two meeting rooms and four large desks for the lettings agency, while the other half of the space is given over to a café called Logo with sofas, chairs, tables and toilets.
In its submission to planners, Northern Eye UK said that the hybrid café/agent concept is designed to distinguish iFor Homes in a “crowded market and express their unique approach to client care”.
Also, planners noted, the redevelopment 20 Queen Square on Clay Pit Lane in Leeds would create 20 jobs for café and letting agency staff and “raise the standard for such organisations”.