Jackie O nightclub bought - now set to become hotel

The former Jackie O building on Kirkcaldy Esplanade
The former Jackie O building on Kirkcaldy Esplanade

KIRKCALDY’S most famous nightclub has been sold.

Alex Penman has bought the old Jackie O building on Esplanade and plans to demolish it and turn it into a hotel and luxury flats overlooking the River Forth.

The businessman’s plans also include retail or commercial units in the new-look complex.

And if he gets the green light from Fife Council, the Esplanade landmark will disappear within months as the boarded-up building is torn down and work begins on the new hotel.

Mr Penman, who has built property across Kirkcaldy - including the new estate at Seafield and transformed derelict land at the harbour with new waterfront flats - believes this new project can only enhance the town.

‘‘We want to boost the town - it needs it,’’ he said.

‘‘Right now the site it is an eyesore, but we can change that.’’

Luxury flats

The proposed hotel would have 32 bedrooms - effectively on par, in terms of number, with Beveridge Park Hotel - but the building would also feature 20 luxury apartments and five shops or commercial units.

It would sit on the space occupied by the old nightclub which closed in May 2010 and has been on the market since with a price tage of around £250,000.

Mr Penman has applied for outline planning permission, and if granted it will then kick-start the process to allow him to get on with with the project.

‘‘I want to get on with this as soon as possible - as soon as I get planning permission,’’ he said.

Perfect location

‘‘It’s the ideal location for a hotel. It’d be perfect for people coming to town for a night out or an event or concert.’’

‘‘It is in a key location.’’

Mr Penman’s hotel plan is completely separate from the ambitious development proposed by City Site Estates, owners of The Mercat as part of its ill-fated £40m blueprint.

In March 2011, it was given the go-ahead by Fife Council to begin its massive expansion plan which envisaged a glass building on the waterfront, and an expanded Mercat which ran from the edge of Volunteers’ Green to the centre of the High Street.

A hotel, cinema and bowling alley were all included in the masterplan which never materialised.

CSE were planning to buy the former nightclub and demolish it as part of its plans, but when the building was put back on the market it was clear that deal was not going to proceed.

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