Tenants have been moving into plush new flats after a derelict office block was transformed.
Glendale House, in Washington town centre, close to The Galleries shopping centre, has been converted into 29 one-bedroom flats for social housing.
Eighteen of the 29 flats have already been let to tennants, so the demand to do this project has been justified.Chris Irwin
Businessman Chris Irwin purchased the building at auction in August 2012 and obtained planning permission to convert it into residential accommodation.
His company, Licence Consultancy, then struck a deal with contractor Coast & Country Housing Limited.
Almost £1million-worth of work has gone into the revamp, with Licence Consultancy also signing an agreement to manage the letting of the units for five years.
Chris, who also runs Daccs Hair and Beauty in Washington, said: “Eighteen of the 29 flats have already been let to tenants, so the demand to do this project has been justified.
“The demand has been very, very strong.”
Glendale House is one of four derelict buildings near the site of a planned £10million entertainment complex, which is to be built on the site of Cheviot House.
One of the empty buildings has been taken over by the Job Centre, and another has been acquired by the Department for Work and Pensions.
Chris added: “One of the interesting things is that a lot of the people we have let flats to work at The Galleries, so it’s ideal for them as they won’t have any transport costs.”