Barberry keen on conversions as homes scheme unveiled

Rocksborough House, Warwick Road, Solihull, B92 7HN (Large)

Barberry Developments has announced its first foray into conversion of offices to residential with a West Midlands scheme which will see a neglected building transformed into 27 high quality apartments.

The Worcestershire-based property company has demonstrated its ability to identify opportunities in the market, and to react rapidly, with its plans to convert Rocksborough House at Warwick Road, Olton, near Solihull.

The developers have planning consent for the conversion of an office building consisting of four Edwardian houses linked by a 1990’s office extension extending to 23,000 sq ft – which has been vacant for several years – into apartments. Construction has started on site with a show flat to be complete by Easter 2013 and completion by summer 2013.

Alex Watson, development surveyor at Barberry, said: “This is our first project of its kind, converting unwanted and unloved office space into residential. It is well documented that there is a severe shortage of new homes and, on the other hand, too much unoccupied office space.

“While Rocksborough House will be our first such conversion, it won’t be the last. We are actively looking for similar opportunities and the regeneration of vacant buildings is an area we are very keen to explore further.”

He added: “It represents something of a change of direction for Barberry. We are very well known as commercial property developers but we are fleet of foot and able to react quickly to the market. The offices sector is very tough at the moment but there is now an opportunity to take advantage of strong housing demand and we plan to capitalise on that.”

The development will include 27 high quality, contemporary one and two bedroom apartments over three floors. An existing large glass atrium will be retained to provide an attractive communal area. Ground floor apartments will have patio areas, while the landscaped grounds will be complemented by a generous car park.

Alex added: “This will be a very attractive residential development and we are expecting significant interest from investors, first-time buyers and young professionals. The location is excellent, being near bus routes, just 200 metres from Olton Railway Station, and with easy access to both major employment and retail centres in Solihull and Birmingham.”

One and two bedroomed apartments will be released for sale in the New Year through Hunters estate agents on 01564 778779.