Converting commercial premises to residential


Converting commercial premises to residential

The changing retail landscape is causing owners of retail property to review their portfolio and consider converting commercial premises to residential.

Consumers are visiting the high street less, preferring the convenience of online shopping, yet they still want a retail presence on the high street.

Retailers still want to be on the high street to keep their brand profile alive and provide shoppers with a place to browse or collect their on-line purchases, yet are being crippled by business rates on premises that are getting too big for their needs and not delivering a commercial return.

Converting commercial premises to residential

Against this backdrop, the Government has challenged local authorities to provide more housing which usually means reclaiming green belt land for building which meets many planning and environmental challenges.

The above factors have combined to create the ideal business case for retail property owners to convert the upper floors of retail units which into accommodation. Often upper floors are used for storage and therefore not even revenue generating floor space!

Conversion to residential use benefits the landlord as they are able to maximise rental income from two tenants, the retailer benefits because their floorspace, rent and business rates are reduced and local authorities are happy because much needed housing is being made available which also helps to rejuvenate the highs street.

Since the introduction of the General Permitted Development Order (GPDO) in 2015, the popularity of commercial to residential conversions has increased dramatically and with parliament granting permissions, more and more properties are being repurposed in this way.

When converting retail space into accommodation, this invariably needs the addition of separate self-contained residential staircases, external fire escapes, and often bespoke structural steel works.

Converting buildings to alternative uses often means that supporting structural steel beams need to be made to a bespoke sizes, and again we can offer a solution, when an ‘off the shelf’ sized beam won’t do.

Sometimes additional features such as external balconies are added which require balustrade to meet health and safety compliance. This is where Essential Projects can help.

Working off architectural drawings we can provide advice and guidance as well as produce full 3D drawings of staircases and other architectural metalwork. Essential projects is a fully quality assured company and our site installation crews are fully CSCS certified and CDM compliant.

If you are involved in a project to convert a commercial property into residential use please get in touch.


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