Another Commercial Property Succumbs to a Residential Development

Posted on 13 October, 2011 by MOVEHUT

More and more commercial properties are today being either demolished or restored and turned into houses and flats for residential use. Money is probably the main reason to why property developers are choosing to change the use of a property, but will there be a shortage of commercial properties in the future? Movehut investigates.

FreshStart Living has recently acquired an old mill in St Thomas’s Place, Stockport. The development company plans to convert the former mill into 28 one-bedroom and 23 two-bedroom apartments, with on-site parking, costing roughly £3.75 million. The apartments will be sold to either first-time buyers who are looking to rent before they buy or buy-to-let landlords looking for an investment. The starting price for an apartment is £65,000 for a one bedroom and £75,000 for a two bedroom apartment.

The development of this commercial property in Stockport is due to start this month. The new apartments will be located within minutes of the town centre and the train station, and nearby to Manchester and Derbyshire, which will be ideal for commuters.

Stuart Cook, FreshStart Living’s Acquisitions Manager stated, “This is another classic example of FreshStart’s ability to breathe new life into under-performing properties and to offer investor landlords a market-leading opportunity.”

The mill was founded in 1872 by William Harrison. In its heyday, the mill shipped a mixture of designs around the world, but work seized in 1920 and it was transformed into a textile factory.

FreshStart Living has completed around 350 developments this year on both commercial and residential properties in major cities such as: Liverpool, Manchester and Salford. The company, which started in 2009, employs around 40 staff and has a further 1000 developments in the pipeline.

In September this year, FreshStart Living announced it was planning to prepare float their company on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM). Holland Bendelow Consulting Group has been appointed to advice FreshStart Living about the floatation. FreshStart Living has not given away any details as to why they want to float on a public stock exchange, but many young companies are believed to list themselves on AIM to boost trading and also to offer incentives for staff members.

So why are more and more commercial properties being turning into residential properties? The softening of the law could be the main reason, as it enables developers to adapt commercial properties into houses and flats a lot easier than it used to be.

Liz Peace, Chief Executive of the British Property Federation (BPF) expressed, “Whilst clearly we would not want to see property that might still be capable of sustaining jobs taken out of commercial use, there are many places where business will never come back and it makes huge sense to look at alternative uses, particularly residential where there is a massive need for new sources of supply.”

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