City centre Argos site partnership to bring forward £34m residential scheme

How the Lombard House scheme could look

The site of the Argos store in Nottingham city centre, which has planning permission for a 270-bed residential scheme, has been sold to Unite Students.

Developer Bmor secured planning permission for the 10-storey scheme at Lombard House, 37-41 Lower Parliament Street last October. The building is currently used as a stand-alone Argos store.

Bmor will now work in partnership with Unite to demolish the rear warehouse section of the Argos and building out towards Glasshouse Street at the junction with Kent Street.

Total development costs for the scheme, which will open for the 2024/25 academic year, are estimated to be £34m.

The consented scheme was designed by Franklin Ellis.

Nick Hayes, group property director of Unite Students, said: “Through this opportunity we are able to cater for the increased number of students wanting to attend the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University, both located in a growing regional city. This commitment increases our secured pipeline to over £800 million, its highest ever level, and we continue to see opportunities to add further schemes in London and prime regional markets at attractive returns.”

Last October, Nottingham developer Sam Burt told “There has been a lot of anti-social behaviour around the alleyways surrounding Lombard House. This design lead scheme will eradicate that by turning dark alleyways into well-lit and attractive public realm spaces. The scheme provides incredibly high quality accommodation, attracting more students and bringing increased footfall to this part of the town centre and at the same time releasing family housing in other areas of the city.”

Paul Irwin of Bmor added: “Keeping the frontage of Lombard House is extremely important to this scheme, and we’re delighted with the job Franklin Ellis have done. We also wanted the new buildings that front onto Kent Street and Glasshouse Street to merge seamlessly with the properties around them, and I think that has been achieved.

Burt added: “This development represents a healthy investment into Nottingham and will also be an opportunity to provide local employment opportunities throughout the building and operating phase.”

Unite already owns and manages around 1,900 student accommodation beds in Nottingham with a further 970 beds to be added in the city across the new city centre site and the Company’s 700-bed consented development at Derby Road, due for delivery in 2023.