A landmark arcade could become home to city-centre apartments and a new restaurant if plans are given the green light.
An application has been lodged to convert the upper floors of the Miller Arcade in Preston into 45 apartments with a decked roof garden.
Plans, from Callaway Estates Ltd, also include transforming part of the first floor of the Grade II listed building into a restaurant.
Architects have estimated it is going to cost more than £6.1m to get the scheme under way, with apartments being rented at up to £625 a month.
A statement from David Cox Architects said the upper floors have been empty for years, and described it as “a liability for the city rather than an asset”. It said: “Its significance to the retail offering and the perception of the city by residents and visitors is crucial.
“It has the potential to anchor one end of the city’s main shopping street as a successful vibrant hub rather than as an underused, low quality offering of short lived tenancies.
“Discovering a re-use for the upper floors is key to this.”
The report added: “The benefits of this proposal to the regeneration of the city are significant and it has the potential to play a large part in the economic future of the city centre.
“The proposals offer a significant benefit to the city and should be seen in that light.
“Should a further constraint be placed on the scheme with a requirement of affordable housing then the scheme would not be viable and would not proceed.”
Town centre Coun Drew Gale said: “I like the plans, I think it is very cosmopolitan and exactly the sort of investment I think we need in our city to help our out-of-hours and night time economy.”
The application will be decided by Preston Council’s planning committee. Listed building consent will be decided under delegated powers.