The recent re-development of the former Freeth Cartwright Solicitor’s offices at Express Buildings on Upper Parliament Street in Nottingham has recently been Highly Commended in the Best Conversion category of the East Midlands LABC Building Excellence Awards 2017, a much prized accolade given the number of conversion schemes having taken place in the City.
The development was completed by 29 Stoney Street LLP alongside DL Design Studio who turned these former offices into 36 studio apartments over 4 floors for the growing student market. The building was originally sold by Mark Tomlinson of FHP and is now fully let, thanks in no small part to Jonty Green and the team at FHP Student Living.
The building achieved full occupancy for the 16/17 academic year is now fully booked for 2017/18, achieving full occupancy well in advance of the start of the academic year for the second year running.
Dan Lacey of DL Design Studio commented:
“Our concept was to create quality spaces within the existing listed building whilst retaining the historical character of the property. The building maintains a strong city centre presence and its occupancy is vital to assist with the improved vibrancy of the city’s streets. The acknowledgement of our achievement by LABC is greatly received and is testament to a good working relationship between client, design team, building team and Local Authority.
Andrew Davidson-Hogg of 29 Stoney Street LLP who developed the property commented:
“It was a privilege to convert a building with such a beautiful Victorian facade and excellent natural light. The success of the project is down to the designers, contractors and tradesmen who worked so professionally to ensure a high standard of finish. I am immensely proud of their work.”
Mark Tomlinson of FHP Property Consultants commented:
“Since the Article 4 planning changes allowing office properties to be converted into residential accommodation there has clearly been a substantial drive towards the creation of living accommodation within the city. This has had a knock on affect in so far as it has increased spending in the city centre and we are now seeing a vast improvement in the leisure offer from the city with a range of bars, restaurants and takeaways, all benefitting from the increased city centre population.
I understand that this was not a simple project, with the property being Grade II listed with its ER Sutton heritage dating back to the 19th century, but having walked around the finished product this clearly does offer some of the best quality studios in the city centre, with the building having retained many of its original features – a rare commodity for this type of accommodation which can lack certain character”.
Jonty Green of FHP Student Living comments on the excellent demand for the property:
“The Student Property market has grown significantly over the last few years. Planning directives have encouraged developers to provide stunning conversions, tailor made for students. This new supply has been met with a hungry appetite from students whose demands are now for modern spec, efficient accommodation in prime locations.
29a Upper Parliament St has proved particularly popular with restored original features such as the polished wooden floors mixed with modern touches such as granite kitchen work tops & high spec integrated kitchen appliances.
The City Centre, thanks to developments such as 29a Upper Parliament St, is fast becoming the most desirable area for students of Nottingham Trent University, with students choosing high spec accommodation mixed with a vibrant City Centre lifestyle over traditional shared housing areas such as Radford and Forest Fields.”