WORK to replace the derelict Palm Court Hotel with a £12million landmark development on Torquay seafront will start next month, ending a decade of decline.
An agreement has finally been signed between the council and the developers to transform the key promenade site into a mix of holiday apartments, restaurants and private luxury flats called Abbey Crescent.
More than 100 jobs could eventually be created at the building.
Mayor Gordon Oliver has hailed confirmation that work can now start as a sign of his determination to regenerate prominent sites in the Bay.
Developer Havard Tisdale and its construction partner Mansell Construction Services Ltd are expected to start on site this summer with work, estimated to take around 18 months to complete.
Mayor Oliver said: "It's excellent news to see things moving forward on this prestigious waterfront site.
"As part of my election promise for Torbay, I vowed to deliver regeneration to key sites earmarked for development, and I'm delighted to announce the planning agreements have been finalised and we can look forward to the construction of a high-quality building to take centre stage on Torquay's waterfront."
A scheme to redevelop the eyesore site has been in the pipeline for years but there had been fears its decaying shell would never be replaced.
The scheme is for a new landmark building designed to maximise the view over Torquay seafront and provide new employment and regeneration opportunities for Torbay residents.
Mayor Oliver and the Torbay Development Agency have worked closely with the developer and its architects Kay Elliott on the design.
They have promised to ensure it 'reflects the aesthetic quality required for such a prestigious waterfront site'.
Between 60 and 90 jobs will be created in the commercial units on the ground floor, with a further 10 to 15 jobs created by the upper floor holiday apartments.
Steve Parrock, TDA chief executive, said: "The proposals will see the re-creation of a landmark building for Torbay. We continue to work closely with the developers and their architects to ensure the development is a key asset to Torbay's waterfront."
Craig Currie, regional managing director, Mansell Construction Services Ltd, said: "We have been working very closely with Torbay Council and the Development Agency for almost a year now and it is fantastic news that we have now being given the green light to commence work on this prestigious scheme. Work on site is scheduled to start at the end of June."