Planning granted for Cordia Blackswan’s innovative Birmingham residential development

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Birmingham-based property developer, Cordia Blackswan has received planning permission for the delivery of its innovative residential shared living scheme, Bradford Works in the city’s Jewellery Quarter. 

Birmingham City Council approved planning for this new first-of-its-kind development, which will comprise 26 units over three floors at the site which is situated on the corner of Barr Street and Harford Street.

Bradford Works will be a large HMO (house in multiple occupancy) or more appropriately named, a shared living development, with residents having their own private living space and access to high-quality communal areas, shared amenities, as well as a curated offer of social and cultural events.

Designed by Birmingham-based BPN Architects, units will vary in size with the largest offering 33 m2 (355 sq ft) and will be available in two types, either a single-storey studio style, or a mezzanine loft-style.

All units have been purpose-designed and optimised for contemporary living, each offering a sleeping area, bathroom, living area, workspace, integrated storage spaces and kitchenette.

The communal areas will include large fully equipped kitchens, dining areas and lounges, productive workspaces, a games and cinema room, fitness and wellness spaces, and a relaxing roof terrace.

The shared living concept has developed a negative reputation and has become synonymous with tiny apartments crammed into often neglected buildings.  However, Cordia Blackswan’s managing director, Marcus Hawley is hopeful that Bradford Works will act as an exemplar of what the shared living concept can represent.

He said: “Young, single working people generally want to live close to city amenities but with many just starting out in their careers, they don’t have the kind of income traditionally associated with living in the Jewellery Quarter or city centre.

“When speaking to people about their experiences over the last year, many who have had to live and work at home expressed feelings of loneliness and isolation. We have designed Bradford Works to address the issues often faced by single occupants and believe that it is a perfect example of shared living for the future and is an ideal use for heritage buildings.”

Cordia Blackswan is committed to the inclusion of amenities and a placemaking-led approach to developments and is now seeking to apply this ethos more broadly to improve the environment along Great Hampton Street.

Marcus continued: “The Jewellery Quarter is – we believe – one of the city’s key areas for regeneration. Like many of its characterful and unique buildings, the area hasn’t seen the same level of investment or attention as other parts of the city, and we are proud of our commitment to the Jewellery Quarter as an aspirational city location.

“With Great Hampton Street as a key route into the area, we are in discussion with the JQ Business Improvement District to consider how we can help to create an appealing, contemporary urban setting for local people to enjoy for years to come.”

Conversion of Bradford Works will begin by early 2022 and is expected to be ready for its first residents within 12 months.

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