Henry Boot’s HBD completes sale of development site to McCarthy Stone for retirement community in York


Henry Boot PLC has announced that its property investment and development arm, HBD, has finalized the conditional sale of a two-acre development site at The Chocolate Works in York to McCarthy Stone, the UK’s leading developer and manager of retirement communities. This strategic sale marks the last phase of development in the award-winning 27-acre Chocolate Works site, formerly home to the iconic Terry’s Chocolate factory.

Development Details and Planning Success

In partnership since 2019, HBD and McCarthy Stone have successfully navigated the planning process to secure consent for a 72-home Retirement Living PLUS scheme. This approval, achieved on appeal in March 2024, paves the way for the development of purpose-built retirement accommodations. HBD will continue to prepare the site for development in accordance with its contractual obligations, expected to complete in Q4 2024, after which McCarthy Stone will take over the development activities.

Transformative Impact on The Chocolate Works Site

The new retirement community represents the culmination of a transformative decade for The Chocolate Works, during which the site saw the conversion of the former 160,000 sq ft Terry’s Chocolate factory into 163 premium apartments with a total Gross Development Value (GDV) of £110 million. The site also hosts the Brainkind Neurological Centre, enhancing its community offerings by supporting individuals recovering from complex brain injuries.

Strategic Benefits and Community Enhancement

Tim Roberts, CEO of Henry Boot, expressed his satisfaction with the project’s progress: “Securing planning permission and agreeing the sale to McCarthy Stone of the last remaining land site at The Chocolate Works will bring much-needed retirement living in York, helping address the huge demand for specialist retirement accommodation across the country. By adding retirement accommodation, which will also offer tailored levels of care, alongside the residential and other uses we have developed at the site, helps achieve our goal of creating a deep and multi-generational community at this transformed former factory. In addition, it brings HBD’s award-winning work on this significant project to a close while representing a strong outcome for our shareholders.”

This development not only addresses the growing demand for specialized retirement living solutions but also enhances the fabric of the local community by integrating a diverse range of residential and care facilities. The strategic sale to McCarthy Stone exemplifies effective partnership in urban redevelopment, transforming historical sites into vibrant, multifunctional communities that cater to the needs of various demographic groups, particularly the aging population.

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