See inside new flats taking shape in former quayside bank
PUBLISHED: 13:13 15 May 2019 | UPDATED: 13:13 15 May 2019
A London property developer is putting the finishing touches to seven flats inside a once grand former bank on Great Yarmouth’s historic quay.
Aman Gatarquzai said he had blown the budget on the kind of quality refurbishment the building deserves.
The 37-year-old is keen to attract a national restaurant chain or coffee shop to the ground floor which is being stripped out ready for new tenants.
Having bought the building cheap three years ago he had spent more than he wanted on the refurbishment but was pleased with the results.
"I had not ever heard of Great Yarmouth before," he said.
"I live in London and had never been to the town. I just googled it and thought it looked like a nice area and suddenly I was the only one left bidding.
"I liked the front of it, that is why I bought it.
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"It is a great building so I thought it was worth it to spend a bit more money and do the flats to a good standard. It is a very attractive area with lots of listed buildings."
MORE: What happened to the old bank buildings at Great Yarmouth's Hall Quay?
On the downside he said he had struggled to find reliable workers and had to bring people up from the capital he could count on.
"You cannot get really good, skilled, reliable workers," he added.
"That's the trouble in Great Yarmouth - to get someone to work."
Under plans to revitalise the quayside - once the town's busy banking and civic quarter - Great Yarmouth Borough Council is looking to create a vibrant restaurant hub with boutique hotels and newly landscaped gardens.
The vision depends on the third river crossing and taking traffic away from congested Haven Bridge allowing for a more pedestrian-friendly layout cutting the conflict between people and cars.
Mr Gatarquazai said he was heartened by the council's plans for the area which could see the former banking floor at Lloyds reinvented as an eaterie or coffee shop.
"If they pedestrianise this front area that would be very good. Maybe some big restaurant or coffee chain would take it. It is a very attractive area."