£2.5m plans unveiled for stylish loft living in the heart of Preston
Plans have been unveiled to create Preston’s first loft style apartments in a £2.5 million regeneration project that will transform an empty Victorian warehouse in the heart of the city into stylish new homes.
The apartments have been designed by one of the UK’s leading urban residential architects and are being delivered by Etc Urban Developments, a new property company specialising in original, high-quality city living projects.
The spacious duplex apartments will be created in a former carriage manufactory, which was built in Guildhall Street in the 1890s and was converted into a yeast warehouse in the 1920s.
The innovative city centre apartment plan is being backed by the government’s Growing Places Fund, led in Preston by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership and a part of the City Deal investment.
The Guildhall Street warehouse development will feature just 17 two bedroom and one bedroom apartments and studios above a street level arcade of commercial space aimed at restaurant and café bar or retail use.
The idea is to retain as many of the original warehouse features as possible – designing them into each of the apartments.
Detailed plans have been submitted to Preston City Council and if approved construction will begin immediately, with the homes set to go on the market early next year.
The team behind Etc Urban Developments, which is based in Preston and London, has wide experience delivering innovative, high-quality city centre residential projects across the UK.
Neil Thornton, director of Etc Urban Developments, said: “Our plan is to restore this building back to its original appearance bringing an historic and important commercial building in Preston from the Victorian era back to full use in the 21st century.
“We believe Preston city centre needs the kind of historic residential development that has helped to transform the centres of other Northern cities such as Manchester, Liverpool and Sheffield.
“Bringing people back into the centre to live, work and play has helped to revitalise the day and night-time economies of these cities.
“The intention is for this warehouse conversion project to act as a catalyst for further regeneration and residential projects, bringing increased vitality to Preston’s city centre.”
He added: “Our aim is to deliver the first residential warehouse scheme in Preston city centre, to set a benchmark of quality architecture and interior design and provide a real sense of space.”
The building’s exterior will be refurbished to its original red brick appearance opening up the street to a new café culture ambience and bringing sought-after new homes to the heart of Preston.
Most of the apartments will have west-facing roof terraces. Behind the warehouse are the offices of the newly restored Winckley Square, which is getting a £1.2 million Heritage Lottery Fund facelift.
It will be homebuyers in Preston’s first opportunity to secure a true loft-style living experience in the heart of the Winckley Square Conservation Area.
The basement will provide secure car-parking for the majority of residents allocated on a ‘first-come-first-sold’ basis to the apartment buyers.
Neil Thornton added: “The 120-year-old warehouse will be sympathetically restored retaining as many original features as possible for both residents and the community to enjoy.
“We are fortunate the building’s first use as a carriage manufactory was later taken over by the United Yeast Company and used for storage, which helped preserve these features for decades.”
The Etc Urban Developments team has 20 years’ experience designing, converting and marketing city centre residential and commercial projects.
The company’s architects, designers and sales and marketing experts have worked on regeneration projects across the UK, including the Northern Quarter and Ancoats in Manchester, Liverpool waterfront, Southbank in London and residential-led regeneration schemes in Leeds, Sheffield, Newcastle and Cardiff.
It has also been involved in projects in London, New York, Tokyo and Berlin.
For more information about Etc Urban Developments and the Guildhall Street project please visit: www.etcurban.co.uk