Card Factory is soon to depart the ground floor. Credit: via Aberfield

Helmsley pushes on with Ousegate upper floors

A 19th century building in York city centre is to be part-converted to residential, within the developer’s drive to convert under-used retail storage into city living.

The building Helmsley plans to convert, 24-25 High Ousegate, dates to the 19th century and will be returned to its original use, with ground floor commercial and residential upstairs.

Access to the apartments will be gained via a new staircase created at 9 Coppergate. This later 20th Century addition is currently used as a rear secondary exit by tenant Card Factory.

The staircase will not only create a dedicated access route but will also repurpose the existing flat roof area as a communal south facing courtyard for residents.

The Coppergate entrance is proposed to provide an opportunity to pay homage to the building’s heritage through ‘ghost sign’ artwork on the existing brick gable, referencing the longest standing former occupant of neighbouring 22-24 High Ousegate, chemist and druggist ‘Brown and Co’.

With current occupant Card Factory nearing the end of its lease, Helmsley Group is in talks with potential future tenants at 24-25 High Ousegate.

The rear of the existing Card Factory will be reconfigured for new access and a courtyard. Credit: via Aberfield

This latest application follows recently submitted plans by Helmsley Group for the residential conversion of three holiday lets on York’s Spurriergate into permanent homes.

It is part of a wider strategy to boost much needed city centre home ownership through residential conversions across its portfolio, including neighbouring Coney Street, as part of its Coney Street Riverside vision, as well as schemes on King’s Square and Goodramgate.

Tom Riddolls, development surveyor at Helmsley Group, said: “There is so much potential at city centre locations such as this to bring much needed and unused space back to life, returning the property to its originally intended use for the first time in more than a century.

“Our plans will preserve the history of the building while sensitively enhancing the street scene along Coppergate for the benefit of visitors and residents alike.”

A standalone listed building application for landlord works to the ground floor commercial spaces of 24-25 High Ousegate will also be submitted while the application progresses for the residential conversion.

How the apartments will be accessed. Credit: via Aberfield

The existing rear entry on Coppergate. Credit via Aberfield

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