Prospective tenants will soon be able to take a look inside Stoke-on-Trent’s brand new city centre flats.
Show apartments at the £22 million Clayworks complex, currently under construction on the Smithfield development in Hanley, will be available to view from Friday – but StokeonTrentLive was given a sneak peek.
The 11-storey building, which is being constructed for Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s Fortior Homes housing company, using money borrowed by the authority, will contain a total of 151 flats including one and two-bedroom apartments as well as studios.
The flats boast modern, open-plan interiors with ‘contemporary-finish’ kitchens and floor-to-ceiling windows, with views across the city on the upper floors.
Tenants will also have access to a communal lounge, roof terrace and on-site concierge service.
This will all come at a price, however. Monthly rents will start at £495 for a one-bed studio, £550 for a one-bedroom and £750 for a two-bedroom apartment – considerably more than the rents charged for similar-sized homes elsewhere in the city.
But council chiefs say the Clayworks development, which was specifically designed for the private rental market, will offer a type of city centre living not currently found anywhere in Stoke-on-Trent.
Council leader Abi Brown said: “I’m very impressed with the apartments that we’ve seen. They’re really light and airy and I particularly like the concrete feature walls.
“I think there’s a whole range of people they will appeal to, right from single people who are here for the short-term and all the way to small families in the two-bedroom apartments. We’ve seen a lot of development happening in the city, a lot of new businesses coming here, and all sorts of different people looking for different types of housing.
“I think we have a fairly limited range of housing in the city, such as more traditional style terraces and semis. But for younger people who have been sharing and are looking for a place of their own, or couples who perhaps don’t want the commitment of a house, I think Clayworks is definitely something that we haven’t seen in the city before.
“A number of councils have taken the direction that we have in terms of establishing their own housing company, and Fortior are bringing forward a whole range of different housing types, which will meet demand in the city. I think the product is really good, and so hopefully we will have some good news soon about the occupancy.”
The flats vary in size from 34 square metre studios to 61 square metre two-bedroom apartments. Rents will be higher on the upper floors and for corner apartments, with £50 or £75-a-month extra for furnishings.
Around 100 spaces on the nearby Broad Street car park will be available for tenants, but will incur an additional charge.
Clayworks will be managed on behalf of Fortior by LIV Group, which says it has had around 100 inquiries from prospective tenants since Christmas. The company expects the building to be completely occupied by the end of the year.
Richard Swann, asset manager for LIV, said: “The build-to-rent market tends to attract people who are in their early-20s to mid-30s – younger people who want that community feel – but that isn’t to say that is the only market we’re going for.
“I’ve worked on schemes in other cities where we have a high number of retired couples. They want to move somewhere where if there’s a maintenance issue, someone will resolve it for them. It’s also close to the city centre so they don’t have to drive.
“We’re offering a whole package here. The apartments are modern, they’re of a high-spec, inviting and contemporary. They’re catering to open-plan living. The kitchen has built-in appliances, including induction hobs, built-in fridge-freezers and dishwashers.
“But you’ve also got the additional benefits, such as a communal lounge and a concierge during the day. For example, if you’re getting an Amazon parcel delivered, there will be someone here who can take that delivery for you. It may not seem like a huge thing, but it can be important and is part of the wider package that you’re paying for.”
Develop Genr8 expects that Clayworks will be completed by the spring, with the first move-ins expected in June.
To book a viewing of the show apartments, visit https://clayworksatsmithfield.com/