High life to reach new level in Sky Blue City

Whitefriars tenant David Ridge at home with his newly refurbished Mercia House apartment.


?Monday, 02 February 2015 

A new era of high rise living is taking shape over Coventry – and as part of a local housing group’s £200m investment in the city over the next five years, it promises to deliver high level urban homes fit for a Sky Blue City.

The investment from Whitefriars Housing (part of the WM Housing Group) has been spearheaded by a £6m project to transform the late-1960s Mercia House that towers above The Lower Precinct, in the heart of Coventry. Refurbishment of the 19-floor, 96-home block, which includes 31 new one-bedroomed studio apartments, is set for completion before the end of February.

Whitefriars’ Coventry commitment features further skyline development with the launch of a £9m refurbishment programme focused on three similar tower blocks within sight of Mercia House, all sharing city centre convenience – William Batchelor House, Samuel Vale House and Nauls Mill House, the trio of late ‘60s high-rises that stand together in the Canal Basin area of the city. Progress made by Whitefriars during the 12-month refurbishment will be witnessed by commuters along the city ring road, close to the Foleshill Road exit.

The new apartments at Mercia House feature new kitchens and shower rooms, heating and electrical upgrades, high performance double glazing, new fire doors and sprinkler system, improved insulation, new carpets, communal satellite TV, concierge service and improved shared spaces. External cladding and a high quality finish have been applied to the outside of the building. The superb city views are preserved.

Broadcast reporter David Ridge has made the centre of the city of Coventry his home for more than 30 years. Taking an early look at the finished results of Whitefriars’ 12 months internal and external redevelopment of his Mercia House apartment, he said:

“I have to say knocking that wall down was genius – what was no more than a galley-kitchen, I can now put in a dining table, extra worktops, cupboards, white goods and white ware.

“The removal of the balcony, secondary glazing and original steel-framed windows – now replaced with up-to-the-minute double-glazing – has left an unquestionably larger space than what was there before, providing me with greater opportunities for interior redesign to the front lounge area.

“My congratulations and a hearty pat on the back to all those concerned. This is going to do me especially nice, thank you very much.”

Mr Ridge’s bird’s eye view of Coventry takes in the current refurbishment work going on at the three blocks over at Canal Basin and also the bold, bright new look given last year to Faulkner House, Meadow House and Longfield House positioned around the city.

“Our £200m five-year investment in Coventry is bringing a bold, exciting new look to the city, something bright, fresh and modern,” said Richard Osborne, director of property services at WM Housing Group.

“We are proud to invest in Coventry and genuinely believe that our investment programme will make a real difference, enhancing the visual appeal of Coventry and creating a striking first impression for visitors to the city.”

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