In the residential marketplace, a little inside knowledge is a useful thing for the investor.

If you've watched a development come out of the ground, seen it grow and know every corner, you are well placed to judge its worth.

Two project managers at Smiths Flour Mill in Walsall have delivered the ultimate product testimonial, each buying a personal share in the scheme.

Tom Walsh and Martin Cook have been responsible for overseeing the conversion and new build project, right from design to completion.

Employed by the niche developers GR8 Space on the major regeneration scheme, they liked what they saw and bought one apartment each.

Not only were they taken with the quality detail and inherent character of the existing buildings, they also saw, first hand, the investment potential as buyers quickly queued up to share in the up-andcoming area, close to the town centre.

Tom and Martin bought off-plan, so as not to miss the boat on their favoured plots. Tom said: "The Smiths Flour Mill development really caught my eye right from its earliest stages.

"The level of design and specification sparked my imagination and I could see the building's potential immediately. The development was designed with detail and style in mind during every stage. No cost-cutting measures were applied during the specification and fitout and the emphasis was always on design and quality, something that is missing from so many developments in the area."

Being on site, the two men were in the perfect position to see the scheme emerge.

Martin said: "Everything seemed right about the Smiths Flour Mill development. The fact that it is a converted Victorian mill building with plenty of character meant that it ticked all the boxes in the style stakes, and the location is superb for both the town centre and transport links, making it ideal for prospective rental tenants such as young professionals."

Everything pointed to the scheme being an excellent investment, not least the full-scale regeneration plans for the area, a £755 million investment, due to be complete by 2015.

Tom added: "Walsall is growing in stature as a really great place to live and work and the ongoing regeneration will bring the area up to 21st century standards."

Both buyers bagged a two-bedroom apartment in the Granary phase of the development where original features add real character. Each apartment came with a separate kitchen, main bathroom and principal bedroom suite.

Tenant demand has already proved the sense of buying in the area.

"We have had an overwhelming response from would-be tenants," said Martin.

Local lettings agent Goodchilds had to organise block viewings because of the interest.

All the converted apartments are now sold at Smiths Flour Mill. Some of the best plots have an historic outlook over the restored towpath and canal as well as views to the impressive former mill buildings.

Chris Liddell, managing director of GR8 Space said: "As the first buyers gear up to move in, there is a real sense of mounting excitement surrounding the development."

Details on the remaining apartments are available from the Walsall office of Connells, 01922 721000.