Reinvented Westlegate Tower launches to the public
09 May 2013
A Norwich ‘eyesore’ is getting a new lease of life thanks to a Norwich property development company. FW Properties, in partnership with Soho Estates, is investing over £8m to transform the tower block formerly known as Westlegate House into Westlegate Tower. The firm is creating 17 luxury apartments plus two townhouses and three commercial units in the former office building and historic site around it. On 18th and 19th May, people interested in purchasing one of the stunning new homes will be able to visit the tower and see the plans for themselves.
Ian Fox and Julian Wells joined forces to form FW Properties in March 2011. Both are experienced property developers and investors and have worked on major development projects throughout the UK. The Westlegate Tower development will be their first project launch in Norwich and marks the culmination of two years’ hard work.
“We were determined that our first project would be a significant one,” explains Ian Fox. “As Norfolk residents, both Julian and I have been aware of the Westlegate ‘eyesore’ for many years so we are delighted to be bringing forward its improvement. The tower itself had been empty for 12 years before we purchased it. Although several developers had investigated the potential for its regeneration, I guess that the inherent complexity in developing a tower block on city centre site surrounded by historic buildings put them off.”
So why weren’t Ian and Julian also deterred?
“There are very few tall buildings in Norwich and we were inspired by the challenge of transforming Westlegate House into a positive landmark that the people of the city could be proud of,” says Julian. “We undertook considerable research and put together a strong team of designers and engineers and it quickly became clear that we could create something viable and, above all, very special at Westlegate. Whilst Norwich has a number of apartment developments on the edge of the city, there really are no true city-centre luxury apartments such as those we’re proposing. We’re offering something completely new for people who enjoy a truly urban and luxury lifestyle and, at the same time, revitalising a part of Norwich that has been neglected for far too long.”
Planning consent was obtained in July 2012 to convert and extend the existing tower as well as 20 Westlegate, the next door 16th century, grade II listed, thatched building. A mixed use development will also be brought forward on the adjacent Timberhill carpark.
Due to be completed by the end of this year, Westlegate Tower will comprise the following accommodation:
A top-level penthouse apartment of 1,950 sq ft on floors 12 and 13; including a sky lounge and roof terrace
Nine individual apartments of 1,560 sq ft on each of the tower floors from levels three to 11
Three apartments on the second floor together with a new courtyard house of 1,700 sq ft
A shop/restaurant unit on ground and first floors totalling 7,500 sq ft, fronting on to Westlegate in proximity to John Lewis and Marks & Spencer
The new development on the Timberhill site will comprise the following accommodation:
Three apartments on the first and second floors of the new Timberhill building
Two townhouses of 1,100 sq ft and 1,200 sq ft
A new shop unit fronting on to Timberhill of 1,600 sq ft
In addition, the scheme will include 2,000 sq ft of commercial accommodation within the refurbished and extended 20 Westlegate.
The Westlegate project is a partnership between FW Properties and Soho Estates.
“Securing Soho Estates as a partner on this project is a huge coup for Norwich and for us,” continues Ian Fox. “Westlegate Tower is Soho’s first project outside central London and to have their support is an incredible endorsement of the potential that exists at Westlegate Tower. HSBC Bank is also providing finance to the project which, in the current climate, is a further achievement for the scheme. Both investors back up our belief that Norwich is a city with a vibrant future as well as a wonderful heritage.”
Philip Thompson is a director of Soho Estates Ltd. “As a long established Family Estate business we have always prided ourselves in our willingness to back people and projects that we feel are unique in their character,” says Philip. “To our eyes the opportunity to create something out of a previously unloved and oft derided building, together with the chance to work with Ian and Julian in their bid to establish themselves in the Norfolk property market as a newly found business, was a chance that we were only too happy to accept.”
The ‘topping out’ of Westlegate Tower is due to take place in autumn 2013 with the tower being completed by the end of the year. Completion of all other parts of the development will be by early spring 2014.
Savills has been appointed to market the new homes. People interested in attending the launch event should contact Richard Aldous, Head of New Homes at Savills, on 01603 229 222 or by emailing email@example.com.
For further information please contact Pippa Lain or Amber Davis at Plain Speaking PR Ltd.
Tel: 01603 487291
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com