THERE have been calls for them to be demolished and they have been described as a blot on Sheffield’s landscape...
But the city’s Park Hill flats were visited by hundreds over the weekend when four new apartments were unveiled to the public to showcase the multi-million redevelopment of the complex.
The flats are being turned into state-of-the art apartments and are now on sale from £90,000.
Around 520 people visited the show apartments on Saturday and registered interest in them, with a number of second viewings arranged.
Enquiries were also made about the commercial space available, which developers hope will be used for shops, offices, bars and restaurants.
Park Hill is the largest listed building in Europe and recognised for its 1950s and early 60s architecture and ‘streets in the sky’ vision.
But over the years they fell into a state of disrepair and became plagued by crime, with residents queuing up to move out.
Rich Widdowson, aged 24, from Beighton, said he may look at buying one of them apartments when he finishes his masters in social work at Sheffield University.
“I thought the flats were brilliant - a refreshing change from the norm. I was quite excited to see what they had done to the flats,” he added.
“I am interested in art and like the design of them and think it is going to be a cool place to live.
“I used to hate Park Hill and used to want them to knock the flats down, everyone used to comment about them but now I think people will come to Sheffield and think they look great.
“I would actually consider buying one now.”
Don Alexander, 73, from Carterknowle, said: “I used to come here from time to time and saw the flats become grotty and a place where nobody wanted to be, so I came to the opening day to be nosy really.
“I think they are lovely and bright and like the way they have views on both sides.
“When Park Hill was first built it was a really exciting time - a lot of the damage done during the war was being sorted out and these flats replaced the back-to-back slums there used to be on the hillside here, and now this is another exciting era.”
Sheila Kitchen 77, from Waterthorpe, whose relatives who used to live in Park Hill, said: “When they were first built they were beautiful, everyone knew each other and it was a lovely community.
“It changed when they just started moving people in from all over the place and stopped spending any money on keeping them nice so they became run down and everyone wanted to move out.”
Nicola Wallis, Director of Residential Sales at Urban Splash who are carrying out the transformation, said: “It’s been a fantastic opening day for Park Hill.
“We’ve had a lot of visitors through the door with plenty of interest from local people so we are off to a great start. We’ve even had several enquiries about the commercial spaces available at Park Hill.
“While the majority of visitors were from Sheffield and South Yorkshire, people travelled from across Britain such as Dundee, Bristol, Lincoln, Nottingham, Cambridge, Peterborough and London.
“There was a real mix of people of all ages from young couples to older people looking to downsize.
“Many former residents of Park Hill were also excited to see their old stomping ground.”
There will be 78 apartments completed in phase one of the development 26 of which are earmarked for social housing.
The flats can be viewed from 11am until 6pm Tuesdays to Saturdays.