FreshStart Living makes first foray into West Midlands property market

Making a fresh start – Colliers International’s Richard Roberts and Alex Tross with Greg Roberts (centre) from FreshStart Living

Salford-based property investment and development company FreshStart Living has instructed Colliers International in Birmingham to advise it on acquisitions in the West Midlands.

The company, which is headquartered in Swinton, Greater Manchester, specialises in buying derelict or underperforming property stock to convert into affordable residential accommodation for students and key workers.

Colliers International’s office agency and development consultancy teams in Birmingham have been instructed by FreshStart Living to help source and acquire wholly or partly vacant commercial buildings, such as offices and hotels, in excess of 30,000 sq ft in the West Midlands.

Established in 2009, FreshStart Living was set up to provide affordable rental properties in prime locations by acquiring redundant buildings, which are then renovated and sold to investors at below market value.

The company took advantage of the economic downturn and subsequent property market collapse by buying up developments from struggling companies or banks that have experienced write-downs at low cost for cash.

While this is FreshStart Living’s first foray into the West Midlands property market, to date the company has completed a number of developments in city centre locations across the UK, including Bradford, Greenock in Scotland, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham, Salford and Stockport.

Alex Tross, associate director in the office agency team at Colliers International, said: “FreshStart has ambitious plans to grow its property portfolio and has identified Birmingham as a prime location to help achieve this goal.

“The company has built a strong business and reputation in the North West for delivering quality, affordable properties that give investors a good return and with our help is aiming to replicate the model in the West Midlands.

“We will be working closely with FreshStart’s acquisitions director Greg Roberts to identify potential acquisition opportunities in the region. We’re not just looking for empty or derelict properties; we will consider part vacant buildings with short-term income too. For landlords, this provides another opportunity over and above the traditional lettings market.”

Greg Roberts said: “FreshStart Living has secured a good number of high quality development opportunities nationwide in the first half of 2012.

“We are continuing to build momentum and I look forward to working with Alex and his team to gain a significant presence with the development of our residential, student and key worker properties in the West Midlands.”

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