If given the go-ahead, work on the arcade could begin in early 2010
A part of Leicester's commercial history could get a facelift if a £3m redevelopment project goes ahead.
Silver Arcade is believed to be the only four-storey covered Victorian shopping street in the UK.
But from a heyday, which saw more than 60 independent shops based there, the Grade II listed arcade has only three full-time businesses left.
Owners Lukegate Ltd have now submitted £3m plans to build a restaurant, a demonstration kitchen and retail space.
The building dates from 1899 but had struggled since 2000 when shops began to close.
The new plans, which include glass lifts and a central staircase, have been submitted to Leicester City Council.
Stuart Bailey, from the Leicester Civic Society, said: "It is not merely by far and away the best Victorian shopping arcade in Leicester.
"It is still fit for purpose by virtue of the fact its location is at the end of the Leicester Lanes and it links the High Street with the market.
"It is also the highest Victorian arcade in the country, it has four levels, which makes it not only locally important but nationally important."
Lukegate Ltd have declined to comment on the plans.