Award-winning developers excited by plans for Cathedral Quarter projects


Despite the economic crisis caused by COVID-19 developers in Derby, planning to convert two listed buildings, say they see an exciting future for the city!

Urban Sister Developments has already successfully completed the Urban Lofts student accommodation scheme in Derby – winning a major UK property award in the process.

Now the company has applied for planning permission to convert the upper floors of two historic buildings in the Wardwick as part of a £2.1m project to create 27 further student apartments.

And, despite the economic pressures caused by the coronavirus pandemic, director Ruth Hobbs believes the city is still a great place to invest and do business.

Ruth and her sister Gillian Hobbs launched Urban Sister in 2018 with a mission to transform commercial buildings into beautiful new homes and help reinvigorate the city centre.

Their first commercial conversion, Urban Lofts, involved turning an empty office building in Lodge Lane into apartments for 18 students. The scheme was delivered to such a high standard that it won the Best HMO Deal, 2019, at the UK Property Investor Awards.

Their latest plans will bring the upper floors of two Grade II listed properties, covering around 8,000 square feet, back into use. The empty former offices will be converted into 17-bed and 10-bed student homes – again, with a focus on quality.

Demand for their homes has been consistently high – underscoring their confidence in the Derby market.

The company does, however, want the Government to make it easier for developers to bring more empty city centre buildings back into use by cracking down on landlords who leave properties vacant for long periods.

Derby City Council Leader Councillor Chris Poulter said increasing city living was a key plank of Derby’s economic recovery strategy following the COVID health crisis.

Urban Sister is the latest company to pledge to continue with planned developments in Derby, despite the economic downturn caused by coronavirus. Firms behind schemes worth more than £450m combined say they are confident in the city and will press ahead with their schemes.


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