Hudson Quarter proves a big success for Palace Capital

Regional property investment firm Palace Capital has seen booming demand for its flagship Hudson Quarter development in York after the scheme was adapted to cater for people working from home.

Over 39 per cent of the 127 Hudson Quarter apartments have been sold or are under offer

Neil Sinclair, chief executive of Palace Capital, said: "Feedback from prospective buyers is very positive, especially highlighting the quality of the build and the overall design and its compatibility to York s heritage.

"Following the onset of the pandemic, we adapted the development to ensure it met the demands for people to be able to work remotely, and as part of this we have now incorporated an external shelter with benches and a wi-fi hotspot in the manicured gardens."

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He said customers range from first time buyers, downsizers and investors who are both domestic and international. He said the scheme has seen strong demand from people who want to work in the garden on a sunny day.

"The garden is a feature that some of the buyers love," he said.

"They have got the ability to work outside because power is there. They haven't got to stay indoors, they haven't got to work on their balcony, they can work in the courtyard and we thought that was a very important feature. We wanted to have a garden in the middle of York."

The development has been completed within budget. Over 39 per cent of the 127 Hudson Quarter apartments have been sold or are under offer to the value of £14.9m. Some 4,781 sq ft of office space has been let at record rents and the group reported strong demand for the remaining space.

Palace Capital has redeveloped a two-acre site that is a minute’s walk from York railway station within the city walls.

The scheme has 127 flats and 34,000 sq ft of Grade-A office space, located in four buildings around a landscaped central courtyard.

The scheme also includes a new landscaped link from the train station, opposite the site, through to Toft Green and then onto Micklegate. The new office building is the first of its kind of this size to be built speculatively in York City Centre for more than 10 years.

Mr Sinclair said: "Prospective buyers think it's the best scheme in York. We're getting accolades.

"Before we went to tender, we decided that the finishes weren't good enough and that what we should do is spend more money and make it look really good. I'm one of those very old fashioned people who believe it's the women who buy the apartment, not the men.

"We made sure everything was of the highest quality and we think it's paid off."

The scheme was held up during the pandemic because of lockdowns with people not able to visit York to see the development.

"It has been delayed by the pandemic, but it's accelerated now and we're getting much more interest," said Mr Sinclair.

A lot of emphasis has been placed on making sure local people and the council are happy about the development.

"Barring our project manager, all our consultants are from Yorkshire - our architect, our construction engineer, our planner, are all from Yorkshire," said Mr Sinclair.

"That's important because they understand what the heritage is and what the locals wanted.

"Having appointed a first-class Yorkshire contractor in Caddick Construction, we were able to complete the project on budget and only three months later than first envisaged.

"The original decision to move forward with the development was underpinned by a firm conviction in the positive fundamentals of the location and local economy, as well as our ambitious and entrepreneurial ethos.

"We are proud to have delivered an exemplary product that is already receiving accolades, not only for the standard of the construction, but also the quality of the finish, and which is now beginning to deliver strong returns for our investors."

Caddick Construction managed to work throughout the lockdown restrictions and implemented a fully socially distanced programme to ensure workers were fully protected.