First glimpse of hotel complex planned for Kirkcaldy prom

new hotel and apartment complex on former Jackie O site
new hotel and apartment complex on former Jackie O site

AMBITIOUS plans for a hotel and luxury apartments with shop or office space have been lodged for the gap site created by the demolition of the famous Jackie O nightclub.

The latest plans lodged with Fife Council show a smart new 54 bed hotel building with 30 luxury apartments and parking adjacent to it and three units underneath suitable for shop or office space.

And they could be built within 18 months.

Retired businessman Alex Penman believes the development could kick-start the regeneration of the Esplanade.

He got planning permission in principle earlier this year.

Now the detailed proposals will be scrutinised by officials considering the application, while members of the public will also be able to view and comment on them before they go before the planning committee.

Exciting

The application was prepared by Kirkcaldy architects Davidson Baxter Partnership Ltd. and lodged with Fife Council a few weeks ago.

Speaking to the Press this week Mr Penman said he was “very excited” about the proposals.

“When I saw the architect’s drawings it all became very real and it looks great,” he said.

“Everything has been received by the Council and I believe planning will take about another six to eight weeks.

‘‘There have been no objections to it, so hopefully it will go forward smoothly and then building control officers will get involved.

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“We would hope to start on site by about the beginning of July and expect it to take about 18 months to complete as it is a big development.”

Mr Penman said he was already in discussions with three hotel operators interested in the development, and said he envisaged it being a budget type hotel chain.

“I am quite excited about it all coming together as it will give the whole Esplanade area a lift, which it badly needs.

“The decision to give permission for the swimming pool on that site is an absolute disgrace and the old pool site will be lying there with nothing in it. What we are proposing will really give the whole area a facelift and will hopefully kick start the regeneration of the area and encourage others to come in and develop it.

“We want to invest in our community. I have had many great nights in Jackie O and I was married in the Ambassador snooker club which was above where Jackie O was, 40 years ago, so it has a lot of sentimental value for me.

“It is sitting there crying out to be developed so hopefully we can make it well used again.”

When the former Jackie O nightclub building was demolished in 2010 it marked the end of an era for Kirkcaldy.

That era started in 1930 when the Maciocia family built the building which became the famous Trocadero Cafe which stayed in the family’s hands until the 1980s when it closed.

The Troxy dance hall opened next door to the cafe in 1931, but was damaged in a fire in 1935. It then reopened as the Burma in 1936.

Another fire in 1951 closed it for a period and it eventually went into liquidation in 1963.

The business changed hands several times before being bought back by Remo Maciocia in 2003. It was transformed into a nightclub with several name changes over the years including the Garrison and the famous Jackie O which had its heyday during the 1980s and early 90s.

It became the Harlem sports bar and Candle Rooms and then in 2009 changed name again to McSquinty’s but increasing sales of cheap supermarket booze and the recession meant that it went into voluntary liquidation the following year.