London’s largest gay sauna set to be demolished
London’s largest gay bathhouse is set to shut its doors within weeks.
Chariots in Shoreditch is set to be demolished to make way for a new luxury hotel, it has been announced.
Highgate Holdings have had their planning application approved by Hackney council, giving them the green light to take over the entire site – including Chariots and the neighbouring Majestic Wine Warehouse.
The site will be flattened, in order to build a 200-bedroom luxury hotel, offices and retail space.
The architects designing the new complex welcomed the move, before expressing excitement about the new buildings, which they say will be an “asset” to the surrounding community.
“We are honoured to be working with Highgate on what is set to become a valuable asset for local professionals and residents of East London,” said Duncan Swinhoe of architects Gensler.
Gensler said work on the new development is due to start during “the second quarter of 2016” – with completion due at the end of 2018.
Should the closure go ahead as planned, Chariots – which is yet to release a statement on the plans – will have three remaining venues in London, in Streatham, Waterloo and Vauxhall.
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The brand has come under increased criticism in the past few years, after a string of controversies led to questions regarding the safety and security of the saunas – especially the soon to be closed Shoreditch branch.
The branch was severely damaged in a fire in 2011, with around 150 men evacuated from the club during the incident – many of them barefoot and wearing towels.
In 2012, a 46-year-old man was discovered dead in the sauna.
Last year, another man was found dead in the Waterloo branch of Chariots.
Neither death was treated as suspicious by police.