The premier penthouse at the top of Concord House in Holloway Head has been sold for £1.8 million with the buyer paying a little extra for the interior styling of “the ultimate bachelor pad”.
His neighbours in the newly-converted warehouse will include everyone from plastic surgeons to international business people to rock star Connor Ball, bass player with The Vamps.
“What a nice guy,” the building’s developer, Steve Dodd, says of Connor.
“He just turned up with a skateboard under his arm and his rucksack on his back.
“We showed him round a flat and he said ‘I’ll take it, thanks’. ”
All that Steve will reveal about the buyer of the largest penthouse is that “he is an equity partner with one of the big four accountants”.
Steve, the man behind Warwickshire-based Elevate Property, is feeling vindicated by the positive response he has had from purchasers following the £10 million overhaul of Concord House.
The praise is all the more sweet given that his plans for the building were attacked as “utterly monstrous” by a Birmingham councillor.
Coun Barry Henley was protesting over the two additional floors that were to be added to the original 1930s property to create the penthouses.
The modern, steel grey cantilevered constructions contrasted sharply with the brick building beneath – which was exactly the effect Steve was looking for.
“The cantilevers are something we developed (on projects) in Malvern,” he reveals.
“I wanted to do something that was outstanding. That was the brief we gave to D5 Architects.
“I know that there have been some negative comments, people who don’t like it, but if we pleased everybody we wouldn’t be doing our job .
“I am quite happy to be out there doing something different.
“We are mavericks and fortune favours the brave.”
The protrusions, which are held up by hundreds of tonnes of steel and concrete, mean that the penthouses can have
terraces that offer city views in one direction and look over treetops and greenery in the other.
The £1.8 million flat has four altogether, including one dubbed the party terrace and another that is long enough to run sprints up and down.
Steve had planned to keep the apartment for himself and only agreed to part with it if he was allowed to see through his decorative vision for it.
“I sold it on the condition that I got to finish the job. The buyer has bought it fully furnished and with artwork and everything done.
“To be fair he has left us to it.”
This is the second time Steve has designed a dream home for himself, only to sell it rather than moving in.
He also converted Holywell Chapel in Malvern Wells, where Sir Edward Elgar used to play the organ, creating a stunning contemporary house with breathtaking views.
But he decided it was too far from his children’s schools and put it on the market.
“There is a bit of a theme developing,” he laughs.
In the penthouse of Concord House his vision included original James Bond poster art on the walls, a personal workshop/gym/man cave in the basement and an industrial meets Art Deco aesthetic upstairs.
However, he seems to have let it go without too much of a pang.
“I am a businessman and money talks. I think ‘good luck’ to the buyer,” he says.
Built between the wars. Concord House was used by Debenhams to keep its stock in.
When Steve bought it it was filled with the dust-covered detritus left behind from its years as a self-storage unit.
Now it contains 19 high spec apartments that combine urban industrial chic with a twist of Art Deco elegance.
They have open plan living areas, wide hallways, spacious bedrooms and en suites.
Local designer makers and artisans have been called on to supply fixtures and fittings resulting in rooms that celebrate both the city’s industrial heritage and the skills that still exist within the region.
Even the choice of location has paid off.
Concord House is on the corner of Marshall Street and Holloway Head.
At present the B-road that links the city centre with Edgbaston is a hodge-podge of retail units, offices, vacant buildings, Thai restaurants and mismatched mid-20th century architecture.
But a glance to the right reveals The Cube shining like a jewel in the sun.
These are all factors which Steve believes makes the area ripe for developments of this kind and to this standard.
“This hasn’t been the biggest (building) job in town but it has been one of the most talked about,” says Steve.
“Even halfway through there were still those who didn’t understand what we were doing here.
“But we are in close proximity to the best entertainment in Birmingham and to the station.
“And just look at what is possible.”
* For details of properties to buy or let in Concord House, contact Knight Frank on 0121 200 2220 or Maguire Jackson on 0121 634 1520.