The first Birmingham city centre office-to-residential conversion following a change in planning laws is close to completing, marking the start of a potential new chapter in the development of residential property in the city.
One Swallow Street, close to New Street station, is due to finish next month and is the first to complete after the Government brought in changes to permitted development rights in April 2013 which allow certain building works without a planning application being lodged.
Berkshire-based Salmon Harvester Properties is behind the redevelopment which it said had given a new lease of life to an office building which was "no longer fit for purpose".
The 11-storey building will have 55 one-bedroom apartments which will all be available to rent.
City centre-based letting and estate agency FleetMilne Property advised on the redesign of the conversion as part of the Salmon Harvester project team.
Owner Nicola Fleet-Milne called for more of Birmingham's outdated office space to be converted into apartments to meet a massive shortfall in city centre accommodation.
"The availability of residential property in Birmingham city centre has long been at crisis point," she said.
"Since 2009, when the recession set in, demand has far outweighed supply. No new stock has been delivered to the market despite an estimated 1,000 new households moving into the city every year.
"We know there is an appetite among fund managers to take advantage of the potential for growth in the residential markets of key regional centres and we would urge them to turn their attention to Birmingham and focus on unlocking the profitability of the city's outdated office stock.
"The vision for One Swallow Street is now becoming a reality and it is exciting to have played a part....however, we need far more developments of this kind in central Birmingham if we are to meet demand.
" Approached in the right way, these developments are a win-win. They have the potential to be profitable investments which breathe new life into old buildings while also delivering much-needed stock.
"We welcomed the Government's announcement last year...and we are hopeful this will open up opportunities for more conversions."