Long seen as an eyesore, Hereward House on Gordon Road, Margate, has recently been given a new lease of life thanks to Maybank Homes and new managing agents AST Properties. We began this ambitious renovation project in 2015 and are now very pleased to announce that the impressive final results are ready for the unveiling.
At a recent site visit we documented the last finishing touches taking place once the scaffolding was down. A look at the ‘before’ shot below gives an idea of the the eyesore the Hereward House block had become and the challenges we were up against.
The old-fashioned rubbish chute and commercial hotel bins – a legacy from the buildings’ hotel days – have finally been removed too, making domestic waste disposal for the block more hygienic. Along with the renovations, we also felt it was high time to replace the property’s freehold management agent, to complement Maybank Homes’ proactive, forward-thinking ethos.
The unsightly, overgrown space at the back of the properties had previously been used by local car-repair firms, but also became a magnet for years of fly-tipped waste. This neglected area has now been reinstated as a secure, gated car park for residents, sending out a postive message to the neighbourhood.
The Maybank Homes team has again surpassed itself by undertaking extensive works inside and out, bringing this neglected row of 19th-century town houses back into full use once more. Modern internal refurbishment has been carried out making the flats within them more attractive and comfortable. The characterful Victorian facades and iron railings have been repainted, bringing a cohesive aesthetic to the terrace.
To ensure the best chance of success we became financial stakeholders in the new management firm. The changes we have encouraged and supported have transformed the lives of the occupants in many ways – from evicting unsuitable tenants and installing CCTV to improve security, to dealing with long-standing drainage problems that were the root cause of the building’s serious dilapidation.
By 1923, the Hereward Hotel took up half of its side of the road, comprising of 10 houses in all! Thriving throughout most of the 20th century, by the 1980’s the domestic holiday industry had collapsed and the hotel eventually closed. The fine buildings were renamed Hereward House and converted into flats.
In more recent times Margate and its seafront suburbs have been enjoying a renaissance, mostly fuelled by the arrival of the excellent Turner Contemporary on the harbour and the re-opening of Dreamland. The streets are buzzing again and the area has become a go-to destination once more, a huge bonus for nearby Gordon Road.
This time round, Margate’s draw is an array of art galleries, quirky shops, bars and restaurants to bring in the visitors. Gordon Road itself is a pleasant place to live again, the brightly-painted front doors of other residents’ houses reflecting a friendly community atmosphere.
By improving the built environment of Hereward House occupants, their living standards and quality of life have also been greatly improved. We even decided to block up a rear access to the carpark to avoid unwanted visitors (see above image). This is what drives Maybank Homes as a company, and as we have gradually acquired more flats within the block so we have increasing opportunities to make our mark.
The Maybank Homes/AST Properties team is taking up the baton by bringing modern, quality rental properties to the local market. We hope to inspire other developers to leave behind the low-calibre lettings field and the disrepair that so often comes with it. If you own a residential block in Thanet and would like excellent property management, please contact Terry Smith and Maria Curley at AST Properties on 07920 785 930.