Millennials move in as Old Carillion office block transformed into shared accommodation
A landmark former office block has been brought back to life as ‘co-living’ flats in one of the first developments of its kind in the region.
What used to be Construction House, in Birch Street, Wolverhampton, is now home to more than 50 people as part of a ‘co-living’ development called TheStudios24 where they share kitchen and communal facilities.
And it has been so successful that developer Barry Glantz already has a waiting list of new tenants ready to fill up the next stage of the part-completed scheme.
The building was once the tallest tower in the city. Built in the 1960s by Tarmac, it became its headquarters in 1976 and later the head office of its construction and housing business Carillion.
When Carillion split off as a separate company, the 12-storey Construction House became its official home, but it moved out in 2015, taking over the former Staffordshire House building on the ring road.
Just 60 people out of a workforce of more than 400 are left working at Staffordshire House following Carillion's ignominious collapse earlier this year. They are assisting in the winding up of the business.
Construction House stood empty for about 18 months before Mr Glantz, backed by Assetz Capital, took over and launched TheStudios24, a £10 million scheme that will eventually house 218 people.
Each floor is being divided into three apartments, each made up of five bedrooms and a shared kitchen and dining area, while on the ground floor is a communal bar and lounge with a gym due to open soon.
“Taking my daughter around universities I was very impressed by the quality of accommodation,” said Mr Glantz.
“It made me think of something that provided the same kind of accommodation for young people when they leave university.
"There are all sorts of issues with shared houses and sometimes unreliable landlords. But this is somewhere any parent could feel safe leaving their son or daughter.
“We have keycard security on all the doors, security staff manning the front desk between 6pm and 6am, staff who clean the kitchen areas and change the bedding and towels.
"And the tenants only pay one monthly bill, of around £600, for all the services, electricity, wi-fi, council tax etc.
“We expect people will stay for around nine months as they find their feet and save for their own home.”