WORLD-RENOWNED artist Tracey Emin is set to open a brand new restaurant and bathers club in her hometown after purchasing a derelict seafront building.
The 60-year-old has revealed plans to renovate the early 20th century property into a community swimming club, complete with a sauna and hot showers.
The ground floor of the former Westbrook Loggia in seaside hotspot of Margate, Kent, will also boast a café and hot showers.
On the upper level, the My Bed artist has proposed the construction of a large art studio, gym, restaurant and a hot-desk station, while the roof will be transformed into a sunbathing area with refreshment facilities.
Tracey originally announced plans to purchase the building at the opening of her art school, the TKE Studios, and her artist residency project in the town in March.
She described the building as “beautiful” and said she wants everyone in the town to be “proud of it”, Kent Online reports.
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Addressing then-leader of Thanet District Council (TDC), Ash Ashbee, about her ideas for the site, Tracey said: “It’s going completely derelict. It’s a beautiful Art Deco-looking building and it’s ginormous.
“I am intending to put in a proposal to buy it – at subsidised cost – and renovate it to make it into a swimming club. It will have hot showers, steam rooms, a café, a little restaurant and a sundeck.
“I want everyone from Margate to be able to enjoy it and be proud of it.”
Following a competitive tendering process, TDC agreed a sale with the artist, who spent her childhood in Margate and moved back to the seaside town in 2017.
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Council leader Rick Everitt said: “We are pleased that the completion of this sale will secure a positive future for the Loggia.
“It occupies a prominent position on Westbrook Bay and holds fond memories for many local people and visitors.
“Tracey Emin‘s innovative plans for the Loggia are set to rejuvenate the immediate surrounding area and provide excellent new facilities for residents, beach users and beach-focused businesses.
“Her visionary plans for the restoration and revitalisation of the building reflect her deep connection to the area and her commitment to fostering community engagement and sustainable development.
“The renovation will also improve the external appearance of the building which provides an imposing backdrop to Westbrook Bay.”
It is thought the Loggia Building, also known as Westbrook Bay Pavilion, was constructed as a bathing house in 1910.
The site, which was intended to promote enjoyment of the seaside, was originally known as the Westonville Bathing Pavilion.
It was identified in the council’s 2020 Destination Management Framework, as a key site to deliver improved experiences and facilities all year round.
The building is currently empty, except for a section occupied by Thanet Lifeguard Club, who will remain as tenants.
The toilets, a part of the local public convenience provision, will also remain open for public use.
In November 2021, Tracey bought a former Edwardian bathhouse, mortuary and children’s nursery in Margate for £750,000.
She has since spent more than £1 million refurbishing the site and transforming it into the TKE Studios – an art studio, exhibition and lecture space – and bought nearby flats to rent to her artists at a subsidised rate.
Six years ago, she also converted the former Thanet Press building in the town into an artist’s studio and accommodation.
She purchased the Margate Constitutional Club, which sits in front of her studio, to stop it being turned into a nightclub after learning it had a late-night alcohol license.
She also bought the Grade II-listed Georgian building, One Union Crescent, next door to the former gentleman’s club.
And she owns the The Brown Jug pub in the nearby seaside town of Broadstairs.
After buying the Loggia, Emin told Kent Online: “It will take a couple of years to get it renovated and up and running. I want to make it beautiful and grand again. I’m so happy and excited.
“Margate is going to have a bathers club that we can use all year round.”
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