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Midlands regeneration – new homes at Ilkeston Co-op conversion sell in weeks

The latest multi-million pound residential development from Prosperity Developments – the company behind a recent scheme in Digbeth which was sold out before it began construction – has sold out just weeks after being released to the market. 

A joint venture between Prosperity Developments and property investment firm ALB, the Southside development on the junctions of South Street, Wharncliffe Road and Market Place in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, has attracted a high level of interest from owner-occupiers and buy-to-let investors.

The development involved the residential conversion of the former Co-op department store in Ilkeston’s town centre, with all 69 one and two-bedroom apartments being acquired off-plan.

Several of the apartments have been purchased by buy-to-let investors, who have since secured tenants for every available unit.

The three-storey building was snapped up by ALB in 2015 and converted into residential space under the government’s PDR scheme. This came after Erewash Borough Council gave the go-ahead to turn the upper floors of the building into new homes, with the work carried out by contractor HBW Construction. 

The ground floor had already been converted into retail units that are now occupied by a range of businesses, including Coffee Vida, Thorpes of Ilkeston, the Discount Party Outlet and Snap Fitness.

“We are really pleased to have sold all available units and to hear that our investors secured tenants so quickly,” Joe Billingham, chairman and CEO at Prosperity Developments, said.

“Southside was a highly sought-after development in the heart of Ilkeston town centre, with all of the apartments purchased entirely off-plan. It’s pleasing to note that this demand has followed through into the rentals, reflecting the demand for housing in the area.” 

How did the development come about?

In 2013, the Midlands Co-operative Society revealed its intention to shut nine of its department stores, including in Ilkeston and Derby, citing substantial losses as a consequence of the huge rise in online shopping. 

The conversion to residential was not entirely plain sailing. Thanks to the unique layout of the building, the bedrooms at the Southside apartments are not able to have windows. The developers found a solution to this problem, though with a clever use of solar tunnels - mirror-lined shafts, used in buildings all over the UK, which can flood natural light into a room.

Other works to make the building fit for residential use also included external alterations to the building, extensions to the roof and the replacement of existing windows.  

Midlands-based estate agency Lamont & Co Estates were responsible for selling or letting all 69 apartments at the Southside development.

Lane Giani, Lamont & Co Estates, commented: “Southside is an excellent example of high-quality conversion in a location with high rental demand. Ilkeston is located just 10 miles east of Derby and 8 miles west of Nottingham making it an ideal location for commuters who can capitalise on the lower rental costs available.” 

The Prosperity Group currently has a residential and commercial portfolio with a GDV of over £400 million, which includes 34 new build and conversion projects. 

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