Long-empty buildings transformed into student homes

September 22, 2016

A major regeneration project to convert two long-empty office buildings in Bristol city centre into stylish student homes has been completed.

Urban Creation sold the site last year to stock exchange listed student property specialists, Empiric Student property PLC, with a view to breathing new life into Prince William House, a Grade II listed 1980s building, and its neighbour, Matthew House.

The £4.5 million refurbishment project, which was carried out by regional contractors Bray & Slaughter, with work starting in August 2015 and completing in September 2016, has resulted in the creation of 75 student homes, ranging from studios to three-bedroom apartments. Students also have the use of a large communal space, a 30-seat cinema, a fully equipped gym as well as bike store.

Prince William House and Matthew House are located on Colston Street, close to the University of Bristol’s main city campus. On the doorstep of the vibrant harbourside area, they are also near the popular shopping and leisure hubs of Park Street and the Clifton Triangle.

Jonathan Brecknell, director at Urban Creation, said: “The new accommodation at Prince William House and Matthew House will offer students modern, stylish and cleverly-designed homes, providing the best possible layout and plenty of storage space. Hopefully the inclusion of communal areas, a cinema and gym will offer students plenty of opportunities to socialise and make friends, whilst the location of the homes means they are moments away from the city centre with all that Bristol has to offer in terms of leisure, entertainment, education and work opportunities at their feet.”

Tim Attlee, Founder and CIO of Empiric, added: “We’re delighted to add William and Matthew Houses to our portfolio of investments. Urban Creation has been a great partner for Empiric and we hope to do more with Jonathan and his team again soon. Bristol is the city where the seeds of Empiric were sown by us in 2010 with the redevelopment of 39 College Green. The city is an important market for Empiric, and one where we expect to invest further and hold assets into the long term.”

Grant Jefferies, managing director at Bray & Slaughter, said: “We are pleased to have delivered this complex scheme which has posed technical and logistical challenges due to the extremely constrained nature of the site and the respective ages of what were separate but joined buildings. The repurposing and change of use of building stock to create high quality environments is a hallmark of our work and we are delighted with the project.”

The works have seen the façade of the building renovated, with traditional Bristol red bricks revealed beneath the white paint that was covering them. The conversion has seen the demolition of part of Prince William House as well as a new the installation of four-storey timber frame that now wraps around the building.

The homes are now available to let and those who are interested can contact Urban Creation on 0117 934 9508.