A landmark former office building in Southampton has been sold, paving the way for it to be turned into apartments. 

Four-storey ex-BT office block Friary House, located in Briton Street with the Grade II-listed Medieval Town Wall running along its boundary, comes with a change of use to 46 residential apartments already permitted.

It is understood by the Echo that Friary House was sold for £2.7 million.

The new owners say they look forward to bringing the building back into 'productive use'.

The building had been vacated by BT in July 2022.

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Part of the portfolio of 6,700 properties that TT Group acquired from BT for £2.38bn in 2001, it has now been purchased by a consortium made up of Rengen Developments, Lainston Securities and Altus Investments via Friary House Southampton Ltd.

A controversial application to bulldoze the building and replace it with 88 flats was considered by planners in 2022, but the plans were later scrapped after Historic England raised concerns about its potential impact on the ancient walls, which it described as some of the best-preserved in the country.

Plans to convert Friary House, which was built in the 1980s, into 46 homes were approved by the city council in October 2021 but the scheme has never been implemented. 

Savills managed the freehold sale for TT Group. 

Annabelle Stannard, Development and Disposals Manager at TT Group, said: “Following BT’s recent vacation and securing a Permitted Development Rights in 2021, we are pleased to announce its sale.

"This disposal aligns with our long-term strategy to repurpose and upgrade assets that add renewed value to the towns and cities they are located in.

"We look forward to the purchaser moving forward with plans for reactivating this vacant and disused site.”

Russell Clarke, Director of Friary House Southampton Ltd, added: “Together with partners Iestyn Lewis and Lee Cory, I am delighted to have completed this acquisition from TT Group and welcomed working with Annabelle and the TT Group team to achieve this satisfactory outcome.  

"We have now handed over the property to Iestyn and the Rengen Developments delivery team and are very much looking forward to bringing this building back into productive use.”