Student scheme planned for Ropewalks paper mill

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Middle England Developments is to undertake another major student development project in Liverpool city centre according to BusinessDesk.com.

The company has bought a five-storey former paper mill at Henry Street in the Ropewalks area and has already submitted plans to convert it into a scheme containing 102 ensuite student bedrooms with shared kitchen and dining areas.

The property was bought from Northern Irish developer Braidwater, which had previously announced plans to convert the building into office space but had not been able to progress with its scheme.

Middle England Developments director  Nigel Russell said that his company bought the building “three or four weeks ago” and that all 102 units have already been pre-sold to investors.

It has commissioned local architects KDC which has designed a £3m refurbishment and extension that involves building a three-storey glass and steel extension on the roof of the existing five-storey building.

“The target completion date will be September 2012,” Mr Russell said.
The ground and lower-ground floors will contain a number of facilities including a laundry, gym and underground parking. A new central atrium will also be created.

“Whenever we do a student scheme we know that one of the most important things is to get a central location, and experience tells us that students like to be in the Ropewalks,” he said.

“Two of our most popular schemes, Arena House and Oliver House, are right in town.”

He added that the firm currently has around 350 building contractors on its books looking after a number of live projects  such as St Andrew’s Place on Rodney St and Hatton Gardens Fire Station, but said the Henry St conversion and a recently-announced project for Gradwell St could lead to more workers being appointed if planning approval is granted.

“We’ll be looking to recruit around 80 people,” he said.