Oliver Bickle outside the Strutt House apartment building at Nightingale Quarter

Owner Occupier Made a 25% Uplift in Value by Buying Off-plan at Derby’s Nightingale Quarter

Oliver Bickle outside the Strutt House apartment building at Nightingale Quarter

A second-time buyer has moved from one side of Derby city centre to the other, becoming one of the first residents to move into the Strutt House apartment building at Wavensmere Homes’ £175m Nightingale Quarter.

32-year-old Oliver Bickle works at Derby Council House, while also being a football referee. Since reserving his two-bedroom ground-floor apartment in August 2021, it increased in value by £40,000, by the time he moved in two years later. The home – which has two equally sized bedrooms and a spacious kitchen/living area – was purchased with a five-year fixed rate mortgage from Skipton Building Society.

Located off London Road, with a DE1 postcode, the centrally located 18.5-acre Nightingale Quarter scheme is one of the UK’s most significant residential regeneration projects. As well as constructing 925 houses and apartments, Wavensmere Homes is restoring landmark buildings and monuments from the 130-year-old former Derby Royal Infirmary. 80% of the high-specification homes are now sold, with prices for one- and two-bedroom apartments starting from £185,000.

Oliver Bickle said: “I wanted to move to Nightingale Quarter to live in a brand-new low-maintenance home that was within Derby city centre and close to the train station. With two jobs, I don’t have the time to maintain a garden, but the history, facilities, and all the open space at Nightingale Quarter make up for not having one. Being set back from London Road, it doesn’t feel or sound like you’re in a big city.   

“I have my own parking space next to my apartment, but I walk to meet up with friends and every day for work, as it saves on the cost of parking. Depending on the weather, I have a few different routes through the city centre. I also use the train much more now because it’s so close by. A trip to London is possible in a day because the train journey takes under an hour and a half.

“I know buying off-plan is unusual, but it enabled me to choose which apartment best suited me. When I reserved in August 2021, I was given a target completion date and Wavensmere Homes kept to their word. I was hoping to see some capital growth, but I never thought my apartment would be worth £40,000 more on the day I moved in.

“The virtual reality headset in the marketing suite gives such a good idea of the layout and space within each apartment type, so it doesn’t feel like you’re buying blind. I could visualise where I would put furniture and having built-in wardrobes in both bedrooms and all flooring included really helped to make it feel homely.

“Quite a few of my neighbours rent and their monthly rental costs are double my mortgage payments. I don’t think there’s enough awareness for hopeful first-time buyers of how big the cost difference is, although I appreciate mortgage lenders require a deposit payment. Some people who currently rent here are looking into buying in one of the next phases of the development.”

By the end of 2023, Wavensmere Homes will have handed over the keys to 544 newly completed homes at Nightingale Quarter. All 125 houses at the redevelopment of the former Derbyshire Royal Infirmary are now occupied, with the final phases of the 800 apartments and commercial space underway.

Derby Royal Infirmary closed in 2009 and the site was redundant until Wavensmere Homes received planning consent from Derby City Council and commenced work in late 2019. The vast development has been sympathetically designed by Gould Singleton Architects to incorporate the restoration of the iconic Victorian ‘Pepper Pot’ buildings. Pepper Pot North will feature a large independently run restaurant, while Pepper Pot South will be transformed into a residents’ gym and community meeting room. The gym will be available to all those living in the apartments and houses, with the low running cost split across the service charge for the 925 homes.

Florence Nightingale lived in the city for three years and was instrumental in designing the hospital, which received the Royal Stamp of Approval when it was opened by Queen Victoria in 1894. An original statue of Queen Victoria has been preserved and restored by Wavensmere Homes to ensure her legacy stands strong.

Virtual reality headsets, interactive touchscreens, and 360-degree walkthroughs fully illustrate the details of Nightingale Quarter’s latter apartment building phases, where many more residents will move to before the end of this year and during 2024. 

Nightingale Quarter’s marketing suite and two show homes are open from 10am – 5pm Monday through to Saturday, accessed off 128 London Road, Derby DE1 2QQ. For further information, or to book an in-person, or virtual appointment, call 01332 321 255, or email [email protected]

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