Work to restore a crumbling Kirkcaldy landmark could get under way in spring, The Courier can reveal.
The former Station Hotel has been sold to an Edinburgh developer and will be transformed into 16 luxury flats.
The owner, businessman Robert Kilgour, who opened the first Four Seasons care home at the site and renamed it Station Court in 1989, expects the sale to be completed next month.
Mr Kilgour said: “I’m quite excited about handing it over to a younger man who’s got the energy and vision to bring the building back to life.”
The design by Kirkcaldy architects Davidson Baxter Partnership retains the century-old facade but includes the demolition of a 1960s extension.
Mr Kilgour bought the building in 1987 and turned it into the first Four Seasons care home. He later left the company, which now runs 350 homes across the UK.
He said he bought it back in 2007 just before the recession hit against the advice of his father, who was also a prominent businessman in the town.
“I did what my father told me never to do,” he said. “That was make a sentimental investment.
“It was the first care home, which became an empire.”
He said he does not regret the fact he has sold the building at a significant loss.
“The building doesn’t owe me anything. I owe it because a lot that I have at the moment has come from what it has brought me.”
Planning permission for the flats development was granted last year, after years of failed attempts at securing the building’s future.
Previous plans included a 12-storey block of flats at the site, next to the B-listed Adam Smith Theatre, which Kirkcaldy West Community Council described as “almost indecent”.
Revised proposals also failed to impress Kirkcaldy Civic Society and Scottish Civic Trust.
In 2010 Mr Kilgour said he had run out of options and tried to have the deteriorating structure demolished. Other proposals have included retirement flats, another care home, student accommodation and a cinema.
The building is not listed and has been described by Historic Scotland as “unexceptional.”
However, it is prominently located in a conservation area and Kirkcaldy Civic Society has previously made calls to have it listed.