A growing trend across the UK towards creating new housing out of old office stock could play a significant part in regenerating Swansea city centre.
Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH) has negotiated the sale of a commercial block in a prime commercial location in central Swansea, selling to local investors/developers with plans to convert three of the four storeys into a mix of one and two bed residential apartments.
LSH has sold the property on the corner of Orchard Street and College Street, which is within walking distance of the new Princess Way retail development where high street occupiers include Slater’s Menswear and Zara. The Dragon Hotel and prime retailers on Oxford Street are also in close proximity.
Spanning over 9,000 sq ft and with commercial retail accommodation on the ground floor, the transaction incorporates a number of properties with some already occupied and others vacant. LSH has been retained on the lettings of the ground floor and now have all the retail units under offer with occupation due soon.
Conversion plans will encourage economic growth in city centre
Tom Rees, Associate Director in Office Agency at LSH, who handled the sale, said: “Most of the offices are vacant and the retail accommodation on the ground floor is high quality with showcase windows that best suit estate agents, recruitment companies or businesses operating in consumer facing financial services.”
He added: "I am confident that the plans to convert the three storeys above the retail space into apartments for city centre living will have a positive impact on Swansea and help to kick start the 'alive after five' factor.
“Greater numbers of people are attracted to living in the heart of a city allowing them to use the leisure and commercial services they find on their doorstep. This naturally encourages economic activity and growth."
As a property consultancy with offices in both Swansea and Cardiff, LSH is advising an increasing number of clients looking to invest in obsolete office accommodation to counter decline and seize the opportunity to provide new housing.
“This approach is certainly sustainable and this deal particularly significant as it covers an area in need of regeneration and follows other city centre schemes where decaying office stock is earmarked for residential development,” added Tom.