Leeds-based developer, Priestley Homes, has acquired 2 Great George Street in the heart of Leeds and submitted plans to create the city centre’s first £1 million+ penthouse apartments. Subject to planning approval, Priestley Homes – a multi-award-winning developer which specialises in the regeneration of historic buildings to the highest standards of living – aims to transform the Grade II listed former Victorian school into 76 luxury apartments.
The £31 million regeneration and new-build scheme will be a premier development in Leeds and the first to bring £1million-plus penthouses to the market. Each 3,000 sq. ft. penthouse will be finished to the highest standard, offering excellent city views, floor to ceiling glazing throughout, luxury fittings, a private roof garden with hot tub, plus an indoor and outdoor kitchen bar area.
The building will feature luxury one-to-three-bedroom apartments throughout, with the two-bedroom apartments on lower floors offering up to 1,500 sq. ft. of living space. All residences will be completed to the highest specification, with large, original windows, designer fixtures and fittings, underfloor heating, and the latest smart home technologies.
Nearly half of the apartments will also have a private outdoor area, with the addition of a communal roof-top garden, creating a social hub for all residents. The decision to include private outdoor space for some apartments accommodates the expected long-term shift to working from home, with access to outdoors proven to boost mental health. Alongside the communal roof-top garden, the development will also feature a private, on-site residents’ gym and concierge facilities.
In creating these new homes, Priestley will ensure that the history of the building is retained. The developer has a strong track record of heritage building restoration, with its award-winning Hanover House scheme in Leeds as well as Conditioning House in Bradford. These projects set the benchmark for sympathetic restoration, with the former selling out within eight weeks of launch.
Located in the city’s Northern Civic Quarter, just off Millennium Square, 2 Great George Street sits within a major regeneration zone and cultural hub known for its grand Victorian architecture.
The building dates to the 1900s when it was home to Thoresby High School, an all-girls’ school. In 1972, it merged with Leeds Central High School to form the new City of Leeds School, which later moved location in 1994 to Hyde Park. Following the move, the site was adapted to offices for Leeds City Council, with staff continuing to work there until 2018.
A new future for the building was consented to in 2018; however, the original plans to convert the former school into a 173-bed premium lifestyle hotel were not finalised. Since then, the council offices have sat empty. Priestley Homes’ plans will regenerate the derelict property, creating a thriving residential community at the core of one of the busiest districts in Leeds.
Priestley Homes partnered with UK-wide specialist lender, Together, which provided a multi-million-pound facility to help purchase the site.
“We have previously partnered with Priestley Homes on several of its award-winning schemes, including recent flagship development, Conditioning House in Bradford. The developer is renowned for delivering exceptionally high-quality and innovative projects, and we are proud to be able to provide the finance to create these luxury apartments in a prime area of Leeds city centre,” commented Ritchie Watson, lending director from Together.
The planning application was lodged with Leeds City Council in February 2021, with a decision expected in late Spring. Priestley Homes’ main contractor, Priestley Construction, intends to begin work as soon as approval is granted, aiming for a Q4 2022 completion.