Work has started on a £6m scheme to transform one of Swansea city centre’s most prominent buildings.
The four-storey Orchard House, which overlooks the Kingsway Circle, will rise by two levels.
It will get new commercial premises on the ground floor, modern offices on the first floor and 52 apartments on the upper levels.
Swansea business Orchard House Swansea Limited owns the building’s first two floors and will let them as commercial and office space. The building’s upper four storeys are owned – and will be let as residential space – by housing provider Pobl Group. The construction is being carried out by the south Wales-based Jehu Group and is due to be complete in summer 2020.
The transformation aligns with Swansea Council’s regeneration strategy that aims to facilitate more people living and working in the city centre. The council is behind the ongoing £12m upgrade of The Kingsway.
Rob Stewart, leader of Swansea Council, said: “I warmly welcome the ambition being shown for Orchard House; this work will bring new homes and business opportunities to the Kingsway as well as restoring another major building in the city centre.
“I congratulate Orchard House Swansea Limited, Pobl and Jehu on this initiative. The council’s £12m investment to create a vibrant new Kingsway business district coupled with the delivery of the City Deal is giving confidence to invest in our city. Private sector partners are joining the council and our public sector partners to create more homes, more jobs, and more businesses.”
Orchard House faces one of the main green spaces being delivered as part of the Kingsway urban park project, which will result in a net gain of 170 trees in the immediate area. Pobl Group was given planning permission to change the building by city planners in February this year.
Nick James, of Orchard House Swansea Limited, said: “The Kingsway will be a great place to live and do business in the years to come and that’s one reason why the total upgrade of Orchard House is so exciting.
“We have a number of ground floor units where we currently have some great tenants in occupation. We’ll be working closely with them during this year-long construction project. Of the empty units we expect strong interest.
“The building will look stunning; it will be totally re-clad and will be a great addition to Swansea’s fast-emerging, modern cityscape. It’s great that construction has started.”
Andrew Vye, Director of Communities and Business Development at Pobl, said: “There will be 52 homes for rent; a mixture of one- and two-bedroom apartments.
“Here at Pobl Group, we are excited to be a part of the regeneration of The Kingsway, providing affordable, yet high quality homes in the heart of the city centre – a sustainable location, with ease of access to all of the local facilities.”