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Student digs to resi apartments - work completes on Sheffield conversion

The work to transform a Sheffield Grade 1-listed former fire station from student accommodation into all-purpose residential apartments has now been completed.

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

Owner L1 Property employed property management company Resify, specialists in transforming undervalued schemes, to work on the 93-unit scheme.


Previously laid out in an 'outdated configuration' with clusters of two or three bedrooms, a shared kitchen and bathroom and no dedicated living space, Phoenix Court has now been turned into one and two-bedroom apartments with separate living rooms. What's more, some apartments have been 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.

Located on Division Street within the city centre, the 1920s building sits close to the Sheffield's universities and was converted into student accommodation and extended to Rockingham Street in the early 1990s. With students staying away during the pandemic, though, occupancy levels dropped significantly, and L1 Property started working with Resify360 last year to explore other options.

“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," Obi Williams, managing director of Resify, said.

“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 is the UK property investment arm of fund manager L1 Capital and 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'.


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