Case study: Forgotten town to become student hub
Former offices converted into luxury student apartments
Property developers have overhauled two floors of a former office building in Stoke-on-Trent to provide student accommodation. Majestic Court, in South Wolfe Street, Stoke, has been converted into 28 self-contained studio apartments.
The scheme, which is due to be completed at the end of July, has been project managed by Jonathan Cornes Associates, a firm of chartered building surveyors with headquarters in Leek Road, Stoke-on-Trent.
Stuart Thornhill, director of Jonathan Cornes Associates, said:
“The apartments have been designed to meet the demand for student accommodation in Stoke. An increase in the number of students living in the town will give the area a much needed boost and Stoke’s proximity to Staffordshire University makes it an ideal hub for students.
Since the Government relaxed the planning rules for change of use from commercial to residential, it’s resulted in a much needed increase in the supply of housing. The Majestic Court development is a great example of how an old, disused office building, which stood empty for a number of years and had become obsolete, can be given a new lease of life.”
The 28 self-contained studio apartments have been designed with a high-end finish and will be marketed at the rise in demand for more luxurious student accommodation.
Tony Davies is managing director of St David Group, the property investment company responsible for the Majestic Court development. He explained why they are investing in luxury student accommodation:
“The size and specification of accommodation demanded by students has been rising steadily, and many now see a tiny room in a cluster flat as inadequate.
There is a strong demand, particularly from overseas, mature and post-graduate students for self-contained studio apartments. The private sector is increasingly looking to supply this end of the market.”
JCA’s design director, Eve Cullen-Cornes, added:
“There’s been a definite social and cultural shift when it comes to student life. Today’s student demands a certain amount of luxury, they are aspirational and fashion conscious.
“Luxury is much more accessible, even on the high street. They’ve been flooded with images of luxurious items and it impacts on their lifestyle choices, from the food and drink they consume to the clothes they wear, it should appear straight out of a glossy magazine.
“The new studio apartments at Majestic Court have been designed to meet this demand. They are very much aimed at students who aspire to a home that is smart and stylish with fresh designs and a high-end finish. Young people don’t want to spend their time at university living in grotty student accommodation. They are focused and career driven – the precursor to the young professional.
“Equally, their parents want them to have the best. They’ve invested in their education and want to provide them with the opportunity to enjoy their university years, living in an environment that’s safe, clean and ultimately feels like a home.”
The studio apartments are due to be finished at the end of July, ready for September’s intake of students, and a show apartment is now available for viewings.
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