Old Broughton school affordable luxury flats ready for first residents

A £10 million transformation of the old Broughton High School is set to welcome long-term renters into a new 'community' at the affordable luxury Kingsford Residence flats on McDonald Road.

Wednesday, 30th May 2018, 7:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 30th May 2018, 1:56 pm
Kingsford Residence, McDonald Road, Edinburgh. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

The 74 homes are designed around communal social areas such as a club room and private dining room which developers, Kingsford Estates, hope will create a community amongst tenants.

Stuart Montgomery, chief operating officer of Kingsford Estates said: “This is one of the first build-to-rent concepts in the city with decent amenity space.

“The purpose is not for short-term lets – we want to build a long-term community.

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“We’re hoping to very quickly be able to hold community events in the communal spaces to help bring tenants together.”

Opening to long-term residents in September, the plush conversion is currently hosting holiday bookings and short-stay guests for a “soft launch”.

Stuart explained: “This is a testing phase to pick up any snags that may occur.

“We want our first relationship with long-terms residents to be problem-free and this is a good way to do it.

“It has been through progression – in order to get a development funded, financiers will look for values for each flat.

“In theory they could be sold off as individual units but the focus here is very much build-to-rent.”

There are 73 one-bedroom studios with a mezzanine level and one two-bed apartment.

They are all fitted out in a similar way but Stuart said due to the nature of the conversion, each flat has slightly different features including some with exposed original brickwork.

Already proving popular, the applicant list is filling up with prices starting from £1050 a month.

“The apartments aren’t too small, they are certainly not big but the view is we want long-term residents to feel like the building as a whole is their home – to use the club room, the private dining area, the garden,” Stuart added.

The four-storey building boasts a roof terrace with panoramic views of the city, from Arthur’s Seat, across Calton Hill to the Castle.

Once moved in, residents will be able to make use of a gym, club room and garden while a concierge can buzz in guests.

The firm described it as a “labour of love” and kept original features including Edwardian windows, bare brick walls and the Broughton Higher Grade School stone nameplate.

Glasgow-based builders Redpath was expected to take a year to turn the school into flats, including rot repairs, structural works and installing mezzanine floors.

The development neighbours the 365-pupil Broughton Primary next door, with the Around the World nursery on the other side in McDonald Road.

Stuart said the relationship with the local community is very important and the management team will always be on hand if there are any concerns.

Kingsford was granted planning permission five years ago to develop the Victorian school, which was built in 1903.