THIS is the £10m vision to transform an ageing Southampton office block into swanky student flats.
Developers have revealed plans to overhaul the 12-storey 1970s city centre tower into 156 studio apartments after failing to attract firms to take it on.
The owners of Brunswick House will put their proposals on show next week to gain public feedback, but hope to lodge a planning application by the end of the month.
If successful, they hope to have transformed the Brunswick Place building, which overlooks East Park, in time for the start of the academic year in September 2014.
As well as creating new en suite flats within the re-clad and modernised tower, owners Praxis say they would also create up to six revitalised shops at street level.
The proporty management firm said it has failed to let the building to businesses because firms are demanding modern, open-plan facilities available elsewhere in Southampton.
Bosses say they have decided to create “high-quality student housing”, which will not be aimed at first years, after market research revealed a demand for self-contained units in the area, which is just a stone’s throw from Southampton Solent University and close to London Road’s shops and nightspots.
The proposals come just months after controversial plans to convert the former British Gas offices in St Mary’s Road into student flats alongside a new 16-storey student tower were approved by Southampton City Council.
Residents in Newtown and St Mary’s objected to the scheme from Liberty Living, which will see the number of students housed at Orion’s Point double to 854.
And a scheme for 700 new student flats to be built on the former Co-op car park site just along St Mary’s Road, opposite Charlotte Place, is also expected to come before the council soon.
- The public exhibition will take place from noon to 8pm next Wednesday, on the first floor of Brunswick House.