Over recent years we have seen more and more commercial properties being developed into private housing, and with the pace at which the rental property market is moving this is hardly surprising.
I have written before how homeownership could fast becoming a thing of the past. A theory that is backed up with figures showing that the level of homeownership in the UK is the lowest it has been for almost three decades. That, hand in hand with an explosion in the rental market and demand for properties for one must make property development for residential and commercial building contractors a lucrative, almost safe, business.
This could explain why a number of commercial properties are up for grabs and ripe for development into flats to meet the demand of lettings in Southampton. Whilst change should be embraced and business ventures supported I can’t help feeling it is a shame that some of our iconic buildings are being snapped up by property development companies and knocked to the ground to be replaced by modern modular buildings. I, for one, would much rather see the original buildings being redeveloped and sympathetically extended.
Here are just a few of the commercial buildings that are, or have been, under proposal for property development into flats for sale and lettings in Southampton.
Southampton’s Portswood Bus Depot
This iconic property is being snapped up by Orchard Homes who propose to build a student accommodation complex housing 346 flats on the former site of the bus depot. The development is planned to start in 2017 with the first flats in this £20 million project being available in early 2017, subject to approval of the plans by the city council.
Southampton’s Highfield House Hotel
This historic property that has been home to various hotels since 1945, and a private property since 1897 prior to that, has recently been saved from development and is to remain functioning as a hotel.
Property development company had planned to turn this building into student accommodation, with the complex to include a gym and a cinema. The proposal was submitted to the council however, no plans for the development ever came to light so the proposal was thrown out.
Southampton’s Queensway House
This 1960’s building, currently let as offices, is set to be developed into 10 one bedroom apartments provided the current bid is successful. This will create buy to let opportunities for landlords in Southampton. Queensway is obviously ripe for development as the site opposite Queensway House, that used to service a fruit and vegetable market, also has plans in for development. This site is set to become 279 flats as well as an allocation for some commercial space.