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Inspired purchase debut co-living scheme in Wolverhampton

Inspired Asset Management has completed the purchase of Telecom House in Wolverhampton from Telereal Trillium.

The six-storey former office building, vacated by BT last year, will be converted into 294 self-contained studios for private rent under Permitted Development Rights.

With an estimated GDV of £28.5m, the studios are expected to fetch between £575 and £625 per calendar month, inclusive of all bills including Wi-Fi and fortnightly cleaning. Ranging in size from 16 sqm to 26 sqm, residents will have their own private, fully-furnished living/ sleeping space with kitchenette and en-suite. The rooms could include transforming furniture such as a wall-mounted pull down sofa bed to maximise space. Residents will also benefit from campus-style shared social spaces, likely to include a flexibly designed co-working lounge/ event space and coffee bar, as well as communal services such as a concierge, drop-off dry cleaning, bike hire and car club. Bike storage and some private car parking will also be available.

Set on Church Street in the city centre, the development is located 7 minutes’ walk from Wulfrun Shopping Centre, 10 minutes from the Mander Centre, 13 minutes from the University of Wolverhampton’s main campus and 15 minutes from Wolverhampton railway station. The city’s superb rail connections include a 1 hour 38 minute journey to London Euston, 1 hour 9 minutes to Manchester Piccadilly and 17 minutes to Birmingham.

Construction is set to start later this year with completion expected in 2020.

Telecom House was introduced to Inspired by Adrian da Silveira of DASProp Ventures.

Inspired’s founder, Martin Skinner, has been a vocal advocate of micro living appearing in an ITV News feature last year and numerous articles in the press, making the case for space-efficient, affordable private homes. He was also non-executive chairman at The Collective, the UK’s largest co-living provider, and helped the British Property Federation to interpret its recently published definitions for micro-living, which covers compact living (self-contained smaller homes), shared living (house/ flat shares) and co-living (managed purpose-built developments with shared amenity space). Although co-living has proven popular with young professionals, the concept is for all age groups, including senior and assisted living.

£3.7bn of regeneration is currently planned for Wolverhampton underpinned by the £132m Wolverhampton Interchange scheme – providing new office, leisure and retail around a state-of-the-art railway station, bus station and tramway. Other projects include a £14.4m refurbishment of the Civic Hall music and entertainment venue, £35m redevelopment of the Mander Centre to attract big-name brands, and a new £55 million leisure-led scheme on Westside providing a 12-screen multiplex cinema, 100-plus bed hotel, new restaurants and retail space.

Commenting, Martin Skinner, CEO and founder of Inspired, said: “As an investor in The Collective I’ve had a lot experience in co-living, but this is the first one for Inspired as we’ve previously focused on house/ flat shares and micro-apartment schemes. We will be delivering fully self-contained units instead of the twodio and threedio varieties which share a kitchen living area. As with other co-living schemes, residents will be able to enjoy community living with shared social spaces where they can get to know their neighbours and experience music and other social events.

“With so much investment planned for Wolverhampton and geographically being in the centre of the country, it is becoming an increasingly attractive location for businesses and a draw for young professionals working in a variety of different sectors. The city’s growth is supported by a proactive council and planning team, who always respond to us swiftly and approved our application.”

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