Walsall Hole in the Wall development due to finish in the coming weeks
Multi-million pound work to transform a fire-ravaged building into flats and a restaurant will be complete in the coming weeks.
Part of fabric shop Hole in the Wall was destroyed in a blaze 13 years ago but now work at the Walsall site is almost finished.
A total of 10 apartments will be finished by the end of next week while the commercial unit, which has been designed to be a restaurant, will be finished in the next six to eight weeks. Three more flats are due to be ready for the Autumn.
The Goodall Street scheme, paid for by Paul Broadgate who owns the Hole in the Wall, has changed the look of the gateway to the town and complements the redevelopment of St Matthew’s Quarter, where a £12 million shopping centre is planned.
Mr Broadgate, who has invested £2m into the scheme, said: "We had planning permission in 2007 but we shelved it and went back to the drawing board. We redesigned it and created a brand new better development which is much better quality.
"It will certainly help the regeneration of this top end of the town, it will massively transform it.
"It has been a long and complex process but hopefully it will be worth the wait and effort."
Plans for the combination of commercial space and nine apartments were given the nod by Walsall Council in 2015.
Asked about the plans, Mr Broadgate added: "The apartments are on the market now and are available to rent. The commercial unit can be turned into anything, office space, a shop, it has A1, A2, A3, A4, and A5 planning permission. However it has been designed with a restaurant in mind and that is what we will be looking at."
The Hole in the Wall shop, which continues to trade, was partially destroyed following the 2004 fire, which was tackled by 100 firefighters.
Despite losing its entire stock in the blaze, the shop was able to reopen next door three months later.
The ongoing regeneration of Walsall town centre has also included the opening of a new Primark in August and a cinema and leisure development is under way at Walsall Waterfront.
The flats at the Hole in the Wall development, which offers views over Walsall, are available to rent through Urban Link estate agents. More information is available at www.urbanlink.org.uk/