Please Note: This Article is 6 years old. This increases the likelihood that some or all of it's content is now outdated.

One Swallow Street is set to be Birmingham’s first city centre office-to-residential conversion to be completed following the introduction of permitted development rights. Naturally, the project has attracted a considerable amount of attention with property developers and investors very interested in the opportunities these schemes could offer. With city centre property in the city in short supply, this development could be the answer to affordable housing in Birmingham’s thriving city centre.

The project began in April 2013 and will be the first in the city. The first office-to-residential conversion to be completed in the centre of Birmingham following changes in development rights. Situated metres from New Street Station and Grand Central, the 11-storey building now comprises 55 contemporary one bedroom apartments which will soon be available to rent.

The scheme from Salmon Harvester Properties Ltd has brought a new lease of life to a prominent, centrally-located office building. One Swallow Street, though located in the heart of Birmingham, has been no longer fit for purpose and an ideal opportunity for redevelopment.

In its formative stages, FleetMilne Property completed advice on the conversion as part of Salmon Harvest Properties Ltd’s project team. According to FleetMilne Property’s director, Nicola Fleet-Milne, if the redevelopment process is well thought-through, schemes which reinvigorate vacant office buildings could play a key role in opening up the city living market.

“The availability of residential property in Birmingham city centre has long been at crisis point. Since 2009, when the recession set in, demand has far outweighed supply.  No new stock has been delivered to the market despite an estimated 1,000 new households moving into the city every year.

“We know there is an appetite among fund managers to take advantage of the potential for growth in the residential markets of key regional centres; and we would urge them to turn their attention to Birmingham and focus on unlocking the profitability of the city’s outdated office stock. However, we would sound a note of caution as there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution when it comes to maximising return on investment.”

This could be why One Swallow Street is the first office-to-residential conversion and Birmingham coming late to the party as cities like London and Manchester having already enjoyed this change in Development Rights and have converted office spaces that are no longer fit for use into apartments.

Nicola goes on to say that this change in Development Rights is very welcomed and can cause a big impact to Birmingham’s city and future.

“Approached in the right way, these developments are a win-win. They have the potential to be profitable investments which breathe new life into old buildings, while also delivering much-needed stock for Birmingham’s buy to let investors, prospective rental tenants and homebuyers.”

Well, there is certainly no shortage of potential, vacant office space in the city centre as well as no lack of demand for apartments in Birmingham or prospective investors interested in investing in the Second city.

However, there does need to be more projects like One Swallow Street and soon, in order to meet the growing demand of the city.

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Please Note: This Article is 6 years old. This increases the likelihood that some or all of it's content is now outdated.


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