Flats plan for heart of city

Telephone House
Telephone House
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A landmark office block in the heart of Sheffield is set to be transformed into flats.

Telephone House – formerly home to the city’s BT headquarters – will be converted into 340 studio apartments.

Developer Vita Ventures is investing £35million to turn the 42-year-old Wellington Street building, which overlooks Charter Square, into what it calls ‘high-standard’ living spaces.

The move is thought to be a response to increased demand for city centre living accommodation in Sheffield following an influx of young professionals and international students.

Kevin Seers, director of Sheffield-based Axis Architecture, which is working on the project, said: “The BT building is fantastically well located.

“It is within a couple of hundred yards of the Peace Gardens and it is equidistant between the two student areas.

“When you have something like this, you see more street life. It helps local shops, bars, takeaways and taxis.

“There was no future for the block as ‘out-of-date’ offices.”

The apartments, predominantly one-bedroom with en-suite bathrooms, will be sold to investors who will then rent them out.

The scheme will be a boost for the redevelopment of The Moor, providing potential customers on the doorstep for a multi-screen cinema, shops and restaurant complex opposite Charter Row.

The revamp of the tower will involve a complete refurbishment of the interior and a facelift for the exterior, with all the windows being replaced. The ground and basement floors will be used for communal facilities such as a gym, cinema, games room, laundry and a reception area.