A PROPERTY developer is specialising in converting historic Southampton buildings into apartments mainly aimed at first time buyers and young families.

King Property Developments says its work will preserve landmark buildings for future generations.

Southern House in Shirley Road was built in 1875 and was the headquarters of a finance company for many years.

The developer is turning the building into 10 one- and two-bedroom apartments, with a one-bedroom show apartment just launched and on the market for £145,000.

Two out of the four available homes have been reserved, with the remainder due for completion by the autumn.

Other projects under way include the conversion of Kings House, also in Shirley Road, which was built in 1893 and was formerly the local council headquarters, and the Polygon, a grade two listed building in the district bearing the same name, dating from 1840.

Rob King, director of King Property, said: “My passion is transforming historic buildings, often old offices which are no longer fit for purpose, and giving them a new lease of life by creating homes for people.

“A big plus is that they’re often based close to the city centre so really well connected to the local amenities like the shops, entertainment and the train station.

“I was thrilled with the interest we had in Southern House.

“We had a steady flow of visitors throughout the weekend which resulted in two out of the four apartments being reserved. To me this suggests there is real pent up demand.

“We offer Help to Buy so first-time buyers can get on the property ladder with a five or 10 per cent deposit. And we’re really focused on maximising usable space with, for example, well thought out kitchens.

“Our materials and appliances are all highly sustainable and we’re committed to delivering small but thoughtful details... like in the lounge our sockets contain to USB points so you can charge your smartphone while watching telly.”

He also offers mentoring to people who want to build a property portfolio. “I’ve been in the business for more than 20 years so passing on what I’ve learned is hugely satisfying,” he said.