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Arnside Road Project

The Riverside Project

Arnside Road is a street of two storey pre-1919 terraced housing located in the Kensington Neighbourhood Renewal Area of Liverpool. The street has previously been earmarked for demolition but in line with recent changes in policy favouring refurbishment work has now been carried out to bring the vacant properties back into use.


Working in partnership with Liverpool City Council, Riverside used the ‘Own Place’ initiative to homestead vacant properties for sale to first time buyers with a 25% discount. This proved very popular as low income buyers were able to buy their first home without needing to save for a deposit. Buyers must use the property as their main residence for a period of five years in order to qualify.


Due to the poor condition of the properties the challenge to bring them back into use was significant. The properties were small, being an average of 55m2 with bathrooms in ground floor extensions. Riverside needed to bring a different solution to the street which would capture people’s attention and provide a marketable product.

A local architectural practice with a reputation for innovative design was appointed and asked to design a scheme to convert two houses into one and create a modern design solution. A contractor was also engaged to arrive at a target cost which would inform a feasibility study. Each new conversion was valued at £85,000. After discount the properties would be worth £63,750 each. In addition to the viability issues we needed to be confident that we could sell the properties. The target costs for refurbishment of each property was £79,000.


The project commenced on site in April 2014 with the last handover in December 2014. The marketing strategy created a waiting list of potential first time buyers which gave Riverside a great deal of confidence to take this risk. Feedback from buyers has been tremendous – the show house has shown what can be achieved. Buyers don’t get the full package though. For the 25% discount through Own Place they are expected to decorate throughout. People don’t mind though – this gives them the chance to put their own stamp on their new home.


All the properties have been sold and the impact on the street is transformational, creating a vibrant environment of activity. The success of the scheme has given Riverside the confidence to take on a bigger challenge across the road, converting a Grade-2 listed former fire station and pub into 5 refurbished homes for sale under the Own Place scheme. This is a challenging project however we are confident it will be a success and a complement to the Arnside Road scheme.

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