A former police station, offering almost 19,000 sq ft of space across four storeys, has come onto the Black Country property market.
Birmingham commercial property agents, KWB, were asked to dispose of Dudley Police Station which is situated in the centre of Dudley. Martin Cook, KWB’s Head of Valuations and Leases, believes it is most likely to be converted into apartments.
“Having inspected the New Street police station very closely, inside and out, I would expect this to be taken on as a development project, almost certainly for residential use,” he says.
“We’re expecting to receive offers above the £450,000 guide price, because you could easily get 18-20 flats into the space.”
The building, a landmark since it was built just before the outbreak of the Second World War, was designed by an architectural practice which once dominated the Black Country landscape.
Dudley-based Webb & Gray created grand municipal buildings, and an array of commercial projects from eye-catching cinemas to imposing road-side public houses, including a landmark three-storey Art Deco department store occupied by the Co-op in Dudley High Street for decades.
Now, in their centenary year and known as Webb Gray, the practice – which relocated to Birmingham’s Colmore Row in 2005 – has a client base of local, national and international companies.
Martin, who has previously sold former police stations in Walsall and Kingswinford, expects interest in Dudley Police Station to be high, based on its location, excellent condition and development potential.
“It’s very rare for a building of this size to come onto the market in any town centre, and although the buyers would need planning permission to convert it for residential or office use, I wouldn’t see that as a significant obstacle,” he said.
“The council has already worked very closely with West Midlands Police (WMP), to find new space for the officers and staff who previously worked here, and they are equally keen to see it brought back into use.”
News of the station closures brought initial criticism from the public and politicians, but Martin believes there is now a deeper understanding of the financial and operational pressures which were the catalyst.
“It is always an emotive issue when a main police station closes, especially when it’s been there for almost 80 years, but I think most people appreciate the logic behind the decision.
“The nature of crime is changing, as are the ways in which crime is reported and tackled, and both WMP and the Police & Crime Commissioner are trying to operate as effectively and efficiently as possible, in an era when their financial resources are under enormous pressure.”