Vacant Preston office block to be converted into apartments

By Tim Aldred

16 Jan 2024

Guild Tower Visuals

A planning application has been submitted to convert a vacant 15-storey office block in Preston city centre into 115 city living apartments.

The offices on floors two to 15 of The Guild Tower have been vacant for over a decade. The ground floor is currently occupied by the Level entertainment complex which features a bowling alley, arcade, sports bar and restaurant.

While Level will continue operating from the building, the proposals would see the rest converted to residential use with the creation of one, two and three-bedroom apartments.

The plans, submitted by PWA Planning on behalf applicant Yates Capital, would see significant improvements made to the building which is located off Church Row and is adjacent to the Guild Hall complex.

These include the introduction of a gymnasium and creation of an outside exercise and relaxation space for residents on the currently unused flat roof of the building’s first and second storey.

This space would feature a running track, exercise equipment, green landscaping and benches. There would also be a co-working space and meeting rooms.

The 70,000 sq ft concrete building would be reclad in a dark and light grey coating to make it more visually appealing while a living green wall would be introduced on the exterior of the first and second floor on two sides of the building.

Fifty solar panels and a biosolar green sedum roof would be added to main roof to improve the environmental performance of the building which was erected in the 1970s.

Dan Yates, director of Yates Capital, added: “Preston’s city living strategy is really starting to come together with lots of people who want to live and work in the city and take advantage of the vibrant and growing leisure, culture, food and hospitality offering.

“We have done a great amount of work to get this stage, working closely with the regeneration team at the council to design a scheme that is fully aligned with their vision for the city centre.”

Dan, who is also the Lancashire-based property entrepreneur behind the successful Hy Hotels brand, added: “This will be a fully private rented scheme which we intend to market under our recently launched Hy Living brand. The concept of Hy Living is to provide city living that blends the comfort of home with the luxury of a hotel with features like a 24/7 concierge service, gym and spa facilities.

“The development will be tech-led with features like a resident app, mobile phone door keys and pocket concierge, as well as being pet friendly. It’s one of a number of Hy Living locations we will be bringing forward in the region and we can’t wait to get started.”

Dan Hughes, planning director at PWA Planning, said: “These exciting proposals show how this long vacant building can be brought back into use in a sustainable way and we’re proud to have supported our client in bringing forward this application."

Seb Salisbury at RPS Design Group is the architect for the scheme. Quantity surveying and project management services are being provided by Nick Dean at 44 Consult. Edisons has advised on transport planning, while Neil Martin at Martin Environmental Solutions has advised on noise, and Alt Fire provided the fire statement. Easthams & Co has been appointed as agent for the scheme.

Enjoyed this? Read more from Tim Aldred

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