The first apartments at one of Birmingham's most high profile buildings will go on sale next month.

Forty years after it was built, the city's iconic Rotunda is to be born again as a luxury city centre address, with the first flats set to go on sale on October 15.

Developers Urban Splash are expecting a rush of potential buyers for the city centre apartments, which will be priced between £150,000 and £500,000, and will set up a special sales marquee for the day in the Bullring.

Urban Splash began work on the £25 million landmark scheme on Tuesday, stripping out the fixtures and fittings to leave a shell ready for the new interiors. All 232 apartments are expected to be complete by early 2008.

Ranging from city pads to penthouses, the apartments will be high quality, and will offer some of the best views in the city.

Nathan Cornish, associate director of Urban Splash, said some of the flats had already been bought off-plan.

He said: "It's amazing. We've been inundated before we've even done any marketing. Everyone wants to live in an icon.

"Rotunda was originally designed with floor to ceiling windows but they went away from that because of costs. We have gone back to what the original designer intended.

"It's tired. That's why people are not sure whether they like it or not. There hasn't been any investment into it for years. We are spending more than £25 million on this project so we are injecting new life.

"The floor to ceiling glazing is going to totally transform it, even from the outside. People will still recognise it, but it's going to add a new dimension to an existing icon."

He said the shape of the building had made it easier to design. "We will probably do more round buildings from new in the future now because it works so well," he said. "The apartments will be shaped like trivial pursuit segments."

He said the central circle will house the lifts and stairwells, with bathrooms and kitchens in the next zone, and the outer circle will be the main living space, benefiting from the floor to ceiling windows.

"We want it to be allencompassing - first time buyers, professionals, local people," he said. "We want Rotunda to be a community, not an exclusive yuppie area.

"Despite having Selfridges as its corner shop, it won't be all about brand names. The markets will be on your doorstep too."

Tom Bloxham MBE, group chairman of Urban Splash said: "They say life begins at 40 and Rotunda is an inspiring case in point. Urban Splash is proud to be behind what is undoubtedly one of the hottest addresses in the UK.

"We plan to have 14 apartments located on each floor with living and dining areas all facing to the front.

"Each will feature spectacular full height glazing, which has been specially designed to suit Rotunda's contours. Our crowning glory is the 20th floor. Without a single column on the entire floor, six penthouses are planned for this top level.

"We have also used the platform on which Rotunda is based to provide its residents with communal and private gardens, creating a haven of tranquil space in the heart of the city.

"Reinvented and rejuvenated, Rotunda will be a new beacon for the city and the final piece of the Bullring jigsaw."

Award-winning Birmingham architect Glenn Howells is working on the project, and has been working with James Roberts, the Rotunda's original architect.

Mr Howells said he was excited by the prospect of reinventing the city's most recognisable landmark.

He said: "Rotunda is an integral part of Birmingham's skyline, beloved by the city's people. We've relished the challenge to reinvent the Grade II circular building into contemporary apartments that will stand the test of time."

Birmingham City Council leader Mike Whitby (Con Harborne) said: "Rotunda is a stunning example of Birmingham's iconic architecture. We are delighted that a vital part of the city's heritage is being reborn as a bold city centre living space."