NATIONAL contractor Stepnell has made significant progress on three residential projects, based in Leicester.
The schemes include two student accommodation projects and one private residential build – which is Aimrok’s Wellington House, a £9 million renovation project recently won by the Stepnell’s East Midlands office.
The works will see the conversion of the existing office block into 105 apartments, including demolition, structural alterations, drainage, window replacement, partitions, mechanical and electrical services, internal finishes and associated external works.
Tom Sewell, regional director at Stepnell, said: “We’re extremely excited about making substantial progress on three great residential projects across Leicester. The national housing shortage is currently a big focus for the construction sector, so helping to expand the Midland’s residential offering is something we’re very proud of and hope to keep doing in the future.”
The construction partner has also started on site at Leicester city centre’s newest student accommodation facility, Friar Lane. The £5.4 million scheme – commissioned by Obstrat – includes the construction of 90 self-contained studio apartments across five storeys, with a recessed element at four storeys to provide a transition between the development and the rest of the buildings that already populate Friar Lane at a lower level.
Not only is the team being conscious of how the build will have an impact aesthetically on the surrounding conservation area, but they are also addressing challenges faced by the site’s historic location. Situated in Greyfriars conservation area, Stepnell – in conjunction with the University of Leicester Archaeological Services – carried out archaeological investigations before works could begin in order to preserve the Roman and medieval remains discovered on site.
Tom added: “Despite being built to serve the same purpose, each of these sites are incredibly unique and have presented individual challenges for the whole team to navigate and solve collaboratively. However, due to our extensive experience working on private residential and student accommodation schemes, we have been able to conquer each of these challenges, moving forward with the projects and adding them to our ever-growing portfolio of residential developments.
“Drawing on our extensive experience and lessons learnt within this sector, we are able to provide our clients with real solutions to their challenges and bring true value to their projects.”
Stepnell also demonstrated its ‘can do’ approach while completing Upperton Road – another student residential project based in Leicester and the contractor’s sixth project for Zone Developments. The £2 million refurbishment and new build project is in close proximity to a school, meaning that Stepnell had to negotiate restrictive access without communal disruption.
The team’s ability to overcome these difficulties resulted in the creation of 46 studio apartments, along with a range of modern communal facilities – including a gym, cinema room, common room, management office, study pods and laundry room. The team also incorporated a living green sedum room to make the build more sustainable.
Neil Thakkar, director at Zone Developments, said: “We have worked closely with Stepnell
on a number of purpose-built luxury student accommodation schemes across Leicester and it never fails to deliver high-quality builds. Not only are the team committed to displaying professionalism, experience and quality, they are also able to navigate difficult situations and find solutions to problems during the course of construction.
“We value Stepnell’s expertise in the residential sector very highly and look forward to working with them again in the future.”
Tom said: “All of the challenges that we have faced – along with the obvious restrictions faced while working on site throughout the Covid-19 pandemic – have only allowed us to excel even further and refine our skills as a leading residential provider both in the East Midlands and nation-wide. The pandemic has further demonstrated to us and our clients how adaptable and solution focused our staff and supply chain are.”