Work has completed on the £300,000 refurbishment of the lower ground floor of city living specialist Morgans’ Dock Street office, which was submerged in more than five feet of water during the Boxing Day floods of 2015.
The basement project, which has been designed by Architecture 519, now boasts 2,000sq.ft of contemporary space, with a new kitchen, two themed break out spaces, a snug, bathrooms, showers and boardroom.
Andy Brown from Architecture 519 said: “We worked hard to create a unique environment that feels completely different to the space upstairs. A primary consideration in the design and specification was future flood resilience. Design features include extensive exposed brickwork, poured resin floor and surface mounted services delivering a more utilitarian feel to the space.
“Bespoke panelling, cladding and furniture has been developed to be demountable and constructed from water resistant materials. This combines to create a really special area where the team can relax, away from the hustle and bustle upstairs. It also has the potential to be used as an informal event or training space and will be a great asset for both Morgans and their partners in the business and charity communities.”
Jonathan Morgan, managing director of Morgans, said: “Christmas of 2015 was a very difficult one for us, we lost all our break out space, our IT and comms room, but we managed to open our office within three hours of over 40 tonnes of water being pumped out of the building, and didn’t lose a single hour of trading time, which is something we were all very proud of.
“The flooding was unprecedented and came at a time when flood alleviation works were already underway. We will never know whether the works would have protected us had they been completed, and we have not stopped to dwell on that. Having spent considerable time liaising with the Environment Agency, we are confident that the major works which have been carried out along the River Aire through the centre of Leeds will protect us in future.
“Before the flood our basement area housed the kitchen, staff bar, lounge, bathrooms, stationery stores, archive, air conditioning plant and communications room, which were all destroyed. We have moved some of our equipment upstairs and are delighted with the new space which is already proving extremely popular with our team.”
The 2015 floods followed a period of heavy rainfall which trounced the North of England with the River Aire bursting its banks on Boxing Day. Morgans was one of many businesses effected by the floods. However, figures from the firm, which manages the largest rentals portfolio of apartments in the City, show that only 12 of 11,000 apartments in Leeds City Centre suffered flood damage over the Christmas period, despite extensive disruption across the city.
Morgans manages a portfolio of apartments which range in price from £475 to over £2,000 per calendar month. The firm also has a dedicated corporate arm dealing with businesses relocating staff to Leeds and a highly experienced sales division marketing apartments which currently range in price between £110,000 and £725,000.