Leeds city centre is full of apartment buildings, ranging from quirky converted properties to modern skyscrapers, but which are the most coveted?
Living in the city centre puts you at the heart of the action, with bars, restaurants, cafes and shops only a short walk away – which means it’s a bit of a no brainer. But when it comes to choosing exactly where you want to call home, the decision isn’t quite as easy. So we’ve picked the brains of our readers and our local estate agents to uncover the most coveted apartment buildings in Leeds.
There are a lot of apartment buildings in Leeds city centre, but which would you most like to live in? When we put the question out to the Twitter masses, Vassalli House came up more than once, and it’s easy to see why. The Grade II listed building was converted from a vacant office in to twenty Leeds flats, which range from studios to two bedroom single floor and duplex flats – and won the RICS Pro Yorkshire 2000 Award.
We caught up with Chris Austin, the project architect at Brewster Bye, to find out how they turned it into the highly coveted building it is now. “Due to its position in a quiet pedestrianised area, we were able to retain the large existing windows, which in combination with the high ceilings created light and airy interiors” He told us, “There were no internal historical features so we were able to cut away floors to create duplex apartments with feature stairs and imaginative use of large roof lights.”
They may have had free reign inside, but Vassalli House still has a wealth of original features. You’ll find beautifully exposed brickwork in the entrance hall, as well as many of the flats, and traditional fireplaces remain in place, although they’re no longer in use. You’ll also notice that there’s an old, caged lift in the building, that has a certain old-school charm.
Vassalli House also has location on side. It sits on Central Road, just behind House of Fraser, so it’s basically as central as you can get. The shops, and indeed, Trinity Leeds, are about sixty seconds away, as is the Corn Exchange and Kirkgate Market, so you’re pretty much set in terms of shopping. Nightlife-wise, Call Lane is a mere hop, skip and a jump away, and Hifi is basically on your doorstep – admittedly, that means it can get a bit noisy on a night, but you can’t have everything.
This former hotel sits opposite the Leeds-List office, so as you can imagine, it’s our dream accommodation, but we’re not the only ones coveting flats within this historic Leeds building. Donna Farnell, Associate Director at Hudson Moody Wass, is rather partial to it too.
“We love City Central,” She told us, “It is a sympathetically converted building, and former Wellesley Hotel built in 1869. The architecture of the building is stunning; the entrance hall and staircase is particularly beautiful, and that’s before you even enter one of the apartments.”
Inside the Leeds flats, more delights await. They have everything from one bedroom apartments, to mezzanine and duplex penthouses – and each flat is blessed with original features, with high ceilings and period fireplaces. So they’re a million miles away from the generic, custom-built flats found elsewhere in the city (not literally, of course, because West Point sits just across the street).
As the name suggests, City Central sits right at the heart of Leeds. It’s a two minute walk to the train station, and only a little further to city’s many shops and bars – and being on Wellington Street, it makes for an easy commute to the offices of the financial district.
All this has helped to make City Central one of the most coveted apartment buildings in Leeds, but as Farnell told us, this has a knock-on effect on availability, “These apartments don’t tend to come up too often, and when they do it seems the world and his brother want to view it.” So if you’ll have to be quick to snap up one of these flats in Leeds.
Bridge End Lofts
Location goes a long way to making this apartment building one of the best in the city. Bridge End Lofts are perfectly positioned, beside the River Aire, and if you can acquire one of the highly coveted river balconies, you’ll have stunning views to look forward to – just imagine sitting outside with a glass of wine, watching the ripples on the river.
Not only that, but because they’re right at the heart of the city centre, you can reach the shops, restaurants and bars of Leeds, within minutes. Dock Street is a mere meander away, as is The Tetley, if you want a little culture, and if you cross the bridge, you’ll soon find yourself at Call Lane.
The building used to be the old British Waterways offices, but has since been converted into sixteen Leeds flats, which include a range of single-floor and duplex apartments. They’re all filled with character, featuring a mix of pillars, beams and exposed brickwork, as well unique curved walls.
Needless to say, a building such as this is in high demand, as Kate Richardson from Martin & Co told us, “tenants love to stay so they don’t come up that often.” Their office is conveniently placed below the flats, so make that your first point of call if you’re looking for one of these apartments in Leeds.
Last on the list is Candle House. This is one of the most recognisable buildings in the Leeds skyline. It’s completely round, stands tall at 75 metres and uses a unique twisted brickwork style that makes the tower appear to lean. It’s an impressive building to call home, and the flats inside are done up to high standards, with gas central heating, which is a rarity in the city centre.
Candle House has 160 Leeds flats, ranging from studio apartments to two bedroom properties. They’re designed to make the most of the space, which due to the shape of the building, is pretty unique. The bathrooms sit at the centre of the building, with the kitchen in the middle and the bedrooms and living areas on the outside, where floor to ceiling windows give the rooms a light and airy look.
But the best thing about Candle House is the garden. There aren’t many flats in Leeds city centre with a garden, and none like this one. It sits atop the building, making it the highest garden in the city, and offers panoramic views of Leeds. It’s decked out in style, with coloured sheds, hammocks, bean bags and brightly coloured seating – it’s like having your own, private beer garden.
Since Candle House opened, all the flats have been sold. They come up occasionally for rental or resale, and understandably, are snapped up pretty quick. Reason enough to put it on our list of the most coveted apartment buildings in Leeds.