Twin Middlesbrough entrepreneurs are behind a project to breathe new life into a town center building.
Jack and Tom Atha, who established Teesside-based Atha Developments at the age of 25, have chosen a well-known former bank as the site of their new luxury student accommodation, St James Studios.
Investing in their hometown in their biggest project to date, the pair, now in their mid-20s, will transform the former Lloyds Bank, on the corner of Albert Road and Grange Road, into 60 en-suite studio apartments, each with fully-fitted kitchens.
The accommodation will also feature a cinema, social study room, concierge and a private lounge.
There are plans for a bar on the ground floor that could be called ‘The Overdraft’, which will offer a discount to all Atha Developments’ tenants, and catered towards university students and young professionals.
Identical twins Jack and Tom spent months as laborers, living in a caravan on a building site to learn the property renovation business from scratch.
Seven years after launching their business, they have become the biggest supplier of luxury student accommodation for Teesside University.
Speaking about this latest development, Jack said: “St James Studios will offer an unparalleled living experience for students with its massive studios and amazing facilities for everyone to enjoy.
“We were very keen to involve local businesses with the project, so we’ve teamed up with Darlington-based firm, Niven Architects, and Northallerton-based contractors, Walter Thompson, along with various consultants all based in the Tees Valley.
“We are proud Boro boys and we’re passionate about the town and helping it to grow. It’s great to be able to take part in a big project like this, using local businesses who have the same values as us.”
Tom added: “Location is key, St James Studios is within meters of Teesside University so students are going to be able to roll out of bed and attend their lecture within minutes or try to.
“With Bedford and Baker Street and all the new bars, restaurants and shopping facilities on the doorstep, there really isn’t a better town center location. It really is going to be the perfect place to live, work and play.”
Work began on the building, which has been vacant since October 2015, in November.