A large roof-section of the Grade II listed renaissance-style Marine Buildings at Penarth marina has collapsed into the building .
The Marine Buildings – next door to the Custom House restaurant complex – are recognised as one of the archtectural treaures of Penarth and are awaiting redevelopment as a top flight 5-star hotel.
The buildings have been empty and abandoned for many years – largely because of the prohibitive cost of renovating them and bringing them up to modern standards but the project is understood to be still under consideration by the Martinez family who own the Custom House.
The roof section of the “right hand” section of Marine Buildings – nearest the Custom House collapsed some time ago . What’s now collapsed is what was the matching mansard-roof section on the left hand side of the building – nearest the water’s edge.
. It’s not clear exactly when the collapse occurred and whether it was caused by weaknesses in the structure, or by fire. No one from South Wales Fire and Rescue was available for comment today .
A proposed re-development – designed by the distinguished Penarth architect Nigel Arnold – would create a 55 bedroom four-star “boutique” hotel – retaining much of the French-influenced design of the original structure, but adding a new frontage with a restaurant overlooking the sea.
However Mr Tanny Martinez, a director of JMD Restaurants which owns Marine Buildings – and the restaurants in the adjacent Custom House – has been quoted as saying that banks have been “hesitant” to fund the development because, he says, there is “an overlap in the estimates we have had to develop this site.”
In 2015 Wales on Line quoted Mr Martinez as saying that the total cost of development would be £7,000,000 but the bank “values a completed site in this location at £5,500,000 – so there is a gap which makes funding difficult. We have to find that bridging gap.”
Mr Martinez also says there has been no response with regard to the development from Cardiff Council (the development is on the border between the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff Bay) and, despite the historic nature of Marine Buildings, he has heard nothing from agencies like Cadw.