One of Swansea city centre’s biggest ever building transformations is due to be completed in the next few weeks.
Once open for the new university year, the £45m Oldway Centre, on High Street, will be home to more than 550 students.
The development of the 13-storey landmark block reflects Swansea Council regeneration plans which will see many more people living in the city centre.
It was developed by Oldway Centre Swansea, part of the Midos Group, physically transformed by WRW Construction and is being managed by Omnia Space.
Council leader Rob Stewart was given a tour of the revamped building today.
He said: “It’s great to see such a significant project coming to fruition in such a prime location.
“Those living there will help our new city centre flourish, spending their money at local businesses and bringing new life and vitality.
“Other student accommodation is planned at other exciting city centre locations along with new homes for professionals, families and others.”
Wendy Fidler, student lettings manager of Omnia Space, said: “Our new luxury student accommodation in Swansea is close to many university facilities and local attractions such as the city centre shops, food, drink and leisure providers.
“The property has many great features, including a games room, cinema room, 24-hour concierge service and much more.
“Swansea as a city is filled with beautiful scenery and plenty of things to do. It’s not just the amenities which will win the students over; our modern and sleek design will also be a major attraction.
“This accommodation is already in high demand.”
Omnia Space are part of the Omnia Property Group, which works across all areas of the property market including serviced offices, block management, commercial property and residential lettings.
Robert Williams, project director at WRW Construction, said: “The Oldway Centre will open as planned, at the start of the 2019 university autumn term.
“It has been a pleasure to work with our client and the project team on one of Swansea’s landmark buildings. We are delighted to have played a part in the regeneration of Swansea city centre.”
Moses Schreiber, a director of investor and developer Oldway Centre Swansea, which is part of the Midos Group, said: “We expect this development to unlock a flood of investment in Swansea.
“Our scheme here is designed to deliver a best-in-class experience and to boost the city’s appeal as a study destination. Swansea Council is proactive and business-friendly – and we expect the city to continue to grow.”
Others working on the 187,000 sq ft development scheme include WRW, Broadfield Project Management and Lawray Architects.
The Oldway Centre is opposite Swansea’s main railway station and minutes from both the retail core and a University of Wales Trinity St David campus.
Built in the early 1970s, it served as office space but – in recent years – had a decreasing number of tenants.
Oldway Centre Swansea acquired the building in September 2015 and began building work on the transformation in November 2017.
It will have 556 units, a mixture of cluster and studio accommodation, boosting the number of Swansea students who can be housed in purpose-built accommodation.
It will offer spectacular views over the city and coast. The development features a private courtyard with bicycle storage and dedicated communal areas to encourage collaborative working and socialising.
Cllr Stewart said: “Purpose-built student accommodation will help to bring vibrancy to the city centre.
“Additionally, it will help to reduce the demand for HMO conversions in neighbouring local communities.
“New student accommodation is just part of the mix of new living accommodation, shops, restaurants and leisure attractions being created in our new city centre.”
Swansea is undergoing its biggest transformation in 70 years; a number of major construction sites are now active. This is intended to significantly improve the city for residents, open up thousands of new jobs and generate new opportunities.
Through the regeneration and the Swansea Bay City Deal the economy will be boosted, with the vision being to bring high-quality well paid new jobs to the area.