Home Property & Construction Work completes on Sheffield student block conversion

Work completes on Sheffield student block conversion

Pictured is Phoenix Court, a Sheffield grade 1 listed former fire station on Division Street

Work has ended on transforming Phoenix Court, a Sheffield grade 1 listed former fire station, from student accommodation into all-purpose residential apartments.

The final phases have seen the ground and third floors units reconfigured and refurbished, while the lobby has undergone a remodelling to create a new reception area and general office, with the former laundry converted into a mail room.

Work on the 93-unit scheme has been undertaken by property management company Resify, which specialises in transforming undervalued schemes, on behalf of owner L1 Property.

The units were previously in an outdated configuration with clusters of two or three bedrooms, a shared kitchen and bathroom and no dedicated living space. Resify’s understanding of local market requirements and its strategic approach has transformed Phoenix Court by creating one and two-bedroom apartments with separate living rooms; with some apartments also being reconfigured to make them open plan. Resify completed the first phase in January this year with 29 apartments on the first floor being transformed and fully let.

The 1920s building, which is situated on Division Street within the city centre close to the universities, was converted into student accommodation and extended to Rockingham Street in the early 1990s. However, with students staying away during the pandemic, occupancy levels plummeted, and L1 Property started working with Resify360 last year to explore other options.

Obi Williams, Managing Director of Resify, comments: “The transformation of Phoenix Court has brought it back in line with market demand. It’s a historic building in a prime location, however the décor and layout were dated, and rental yields were well below par for the area. Given the wealth of student accommodation in Sheffield, it made sense to create multi-purpose apartments to appeal to a wider range of occupants.

“The project shows how an understanding of the local market, and how a strategic approach can transform a single-use development in an area of oversupply.
We’re delighted with the response from tenants, which demonstrates the demand for high-quality, fully furnished apartments in Sheffield’s city centre.”

L1 Property, which is the UK property investment arm of fund manager L1 Capital, invests in existing and modern residential property with potential for capital growth in major UK cities outside London. It seeks to add value by bringing capital to underinvested assets.