One of the most historical and iconic buildings in Bradford, Conditioning House, which has undergone a four-year renovation and conversion into a stunning, modern apartment building, will see the first residents moving into the new Manhattan-style lofts in September.
This immense and complicated project has been brought to fruition by Nathan Priestley and his company Priestley Homes. He saw the potential of a derelict building, and has breathed new life into the building, bringing something unique to Bradford.
It is only fitting that the shortly to be-completed apartments bring something different to the city, as the original purpose of Conditioning House, a Grade II listed building, was to test the wool destined for the local mills, for moisture content to certify its true weight and length, and was the only facility of its kind in Britain.
The original construction of the four-story building took place at the turn of the 20th century and took two years to complete – a great deal quicker than the half a decade Nathan and Priestley Homes devoted to lovingly bringing Conditioning House back to the forefront of Bradford life.
Just getting the building safe enough to set foot inside was one of the first issues Nathan and his team needed to overcome: “Having been left derelict for years, the building, at over 200,000 sq ft was too dangerous for people to be on site. We had a monumental task of clearing away asbestos and 50 years of waste.
“I regularly asked myself ‘was this the right decision’? There were so many problems and I had so many sleepless nights. This was nothing like a normal conversion project.
“But we have the teams in house to make this happen, and although it was my idea, everyone in the company bought into the project, and now, with the show apartments available for viewing, yes, it was worth it.”
Investor interest has been phenomenal, with 75 per cent of the apartments sold. Nathan was expecting investor interest to be around five enquiries a month, but the off-plan interest was nearly four times that number. Demand from investors was so great that we had to temporarily halt sales in order to give local owner occupiers an opportunity to buy, and we have saved the most special apartments for them.
“Because of the size and nature of Conditioning House, the apartments are much bigger than your average city centre flat. There’s nothing like the Conditioning House apartments in Bradford. We have brought Manhattan loft-style living to the city.”
Investors have been, in the main, British-based. Nathan said: “They appreciate the historic natured of Conditioning House and the important role it once played in the business life of Bradford and Britain.
“They had the foresight to put their money into this project, keen to own a piece of local and British, history.”
With demand so high, the price of the apartments rose, so those early investors already have cause to congratulate themselves. A far cry from those early days.
“People thought I had finally lost the plot,” said Nathan, “but I could see what we could do with the building and that we were one of the few companies who could pull it off.”
Nathan and Priestley Homes have done more than ‘pull it off’ with Priestley Homes receiving a stream of daily enquiries with regards to the 40 apartments earmarked for owner/occupiers, with the intended aim of creating a long-term neighbourhood.
The Conditioning House complex consists of 153 apartments. Penthouses are available with one, two and three bedrooms plus a one-off five-bedroom penthouse, which will probably be the most expensive apartment ever to be offered for sale in this area. Generous sizes range from 46 square metres to well over 100 square metres. Each penthouse is arranged over two floors and will benefit from the retention of many of the building’s unique period features.
An award-winning mixed-use development, as well as the New York Loft style apartments there is grade A office space, a gymnasium and café.
Phase one has completely sold out, but to find out more, and to register your interest in phase 2, please go to: priestleyhomes.co.uk