Sneak preview: See apartments for sale opposite Norwich Castle
PUBLISHED: 10:44 09 July 2020 | UPDATED: 17:34 09 July 2020
New homes with some of the best city views have gone on sale for between £175,000-£450,000.
Castle House, Castle Street, with up-close views of the castle and the Royal Arcade as well as other landmarks like City Hall and St Peter Mancroft church, is being converted into 23 plush apartments with one to three bedrooms.
And its residential/commercial mix, with shops at ground floor level and homes above, is being welcomed as a way of “revitalising” the city centre after the effects of coronavirus.
Stefan Gurney, executive director of Norwich Business Improvement District, which has supported the scheme from the outset, said it “revitalises a key city centre asset and adds to the vibrancy of the city centre”.
It comes after planning was initially granted for the development in 2016. After some revisions to the proposals, work got under way earlier this year and then coronavirus meant the site had to shut down temporarily, But work resumed last week and the apartments are expected to be finished in October.
The building, 23-25 Castle Street, with several storeys, spans an area from Castle Meadow at the front to opposite the Royal Arcade at its rear. Retail units in its lower and ground floors, which included the former Maplin store at the front and O2, Joules and Dr Martens at the rear are to remain. The apartments are being converted from empty offices in the building’s upper floors.
Work includes creating an entrance lobby with a lift and part of the building is being removed to create a central shaft with a roof lantern at the top bringing in lots of light.
Mr Gurney added he hoped it would attract people back into the heart of the city and also utilised part of a commercial building which had been empty for 25 years.
“It’s really good news and positive for the city, it starts to open up Norwich. We are keen to help it recover and keen to support this.”
Leon Ramsden, operations manager, Pymm & Co, selling the apartments, said: “In all my years as an estate agent, I’ve never seen apartments like this before, you have castle views from some one way and look out over the beautiful Royal Arcade from others, from the other side.”
What’s it like viewing a property as we come out of lockdown?
Viewing the new apartments at Castle House involved me meeting Leon Ramsden, from estate agents Pymm & Co, and site manager Peter Graves from TCM Construction Management at the entrance. I’d received a confirmation email from Pymm & Co and although not a stipulation, I chose to wear a mask and both Mr Ramsden and Mr Graves did too.
On entering the building, I was asked to use hand sanitiser and given a hard hat and fluorescent safety jacket which Mr Graves had sanitised but which he invited me to do too.
I signed myself in, being asked to sanitise my hands again after using their pen, and began the tour. We all kept to the social distance and it couldn’t have been easier and felt incredibly safe.
Virtual viewings and video tours aided estate agents during lockdown but nothing beats actually seeing a property and in this case, its spectacular views of the castle and the Royal Arcade. There are very few buildings that exist that could ever be converted like this in this location, with retail below and empty above, facing the castle. Hopefully it will bring people in to the city centre to live cementing the perfect resi/commercial mix Norwich needs.
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