It’s been six long months of hard graft and planning. Whoever said, “Ryan Luke just sunbathes in Dubai all day” clearly hasn’t seen what it takes to get the planning permission for 16 brand-new apartments – on a derelict site in Newcastle.
And they say our jobs are designed to make the rich richer. There’s so much more to it.
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Our recent feature on BBC News (you can read it HERE) was just the tip of the iceberg. It was the “consequence” so-to-speak, of what has been months of hard work and mental stamina.
A big part of this job is identifying opportunities that are not only commercially viable but make ethical sense, too. While we received some initial resistance when looking into developing the site on Welbeck Road, it soon transpired that the garage unit (set to be converted) literally had rotting interiors and was of no use to the public.
When Newcastle City Council eventually approved our plans for development – and gave us permission to convert the rundown Just Merks repair shop, councillors unanimously stated that the building had been left empty for nearly three years and could now be used for a “sympathetic conversion”.
Not only is this good for the planet (nobody wants a rotting building in their neighbourhood); but it’ll provide greater housing opportunities for locals, help the economy and be another step in the right direction for the Byker Wall Estate.
It’s easy to presume that a lot of what we do in the property industry is about bricks and mortar. But we’re first and foremost in the business of people – and these apartment blocks will serve people, whether they be tenants, guests, hosts or landlords. Ultimately, it’s about “giving back” – and this doesn’t always come across on the outside.
Building for the Future – Brand-new Apartments
The neglected garage unit had been drastically affected by the elements – only left to get worse. We’ll add an extra storey to the building and raise its height by more than two metres.
Some of the newly renovated apartments will benefit from floor-to-ceiling windows, providing a gorgeous view of the neighbourhood – and the entire building will have a stunning visual makeover, making it practically unrecognisable.
It’s common for new development in tight-knit communities to receive a small amount of objection (largely due to unfamiliarity), but this new block of apartments will massively improve the aesthetics of the Byker Wall Estate and boost the community feel. In fact, the councillors have also explained that “putting that building back to use would outweigh any possible negatives” (source: chroniclelive.co.uk) – if there are any.
We don’t even expect parking to become a problem with the increased apartment residents, as the estate has a particularly low car ownership rate anyway – so really, it’s a win-win for all.
As you know, we’re huge advocates of inclusivity at Luke Capital Group – and believe every person deserves a fair shot at success or, at the very least, at rebuilding their lives. The business itself has been forged from our founders’ personal journey of hardship and self-discovery – and we like to keep these values intact across every area of the company.
In light of the above, two of the sixteen apartment blocks will be marketed with very affordable renting – as a gesture of “giving back” to guests.
Of course, the first six months of planning permission were just the beginning – we now have another few months of building and renovating to look forward to! This redevelopment is simply one of many (of the future) of Luke Capital Group’s property portfolio – as we continue with our mission of contributing to the industry.
So, the property business. Just another bunch of wealth coaches with pipe dreams? Think again.
Find out more about our property management and development at Luke Capital Group and our incredible Ryan Luke HERE.