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How Greystar is Breathing New Life into Historic Sites

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Written by Georgina Hazeldine
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Edited by Sarah Claire Eleazer
Apartments and Communities June 12, 2024

Discover how Greystar is creatively transforming iconic spaces across the UK into innovative rental housing options. From historic landmarks to repurposed pharmaceutical sites, explore the art of adaptive reuse and the exciting reinvention of these three beloved locations.

From Savoy Theatre to Chapter White City

Nestled in the heart of West London, Chapter White City has a captivating backstory that traces back to its roots as the iconic Savoy Theatre. Once a beacon of entertainment in the early 20th century, the Savoy dazzled audiences with its diverse lineup of plays, musicals, and operas, drawing crowds from far and wide since its grand opening in 1923.

Crafted by the skilled hands of architect Frank T. Verity, the theatre boasted an exquisite Art Deco-style exterior with intricate details that left onlookers in awe. Inside, guests were treated to a lavish experience, surrounded by opulent furnishings, a majestic stage, and cutting-edge lighting and sound systems.

Fast forward to the 21st century, and the Savoy embarked on a new chapter of its own as Greystar transformed the original into the modern-day marvel known as Chapter White City. The location was revitalised into a haven for students, offering stylish and cosy living spaces for those attending some of the capital’s top universities and colleges.

While the exterior of the building preserves its timeless charm, the interiors have been refreshed with contemporary amenities and comforts tailored to the needs of today's students, featuring study spaces, social spaces, and a private gym. Through this transformation, Chapter White City continues to pay homage to its storied past while providing a dynamic and welcoming living environment.


From GSK to Greenford Quay

Greenford Quay, also located in West London, has a fascinating history that dates back to its days as the home of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), a renowned pharmaceutical giant. In the early 20th century, the site in Greenford stood as a pivotal hub for research and production, shaping the landscape of the area for decades to come.

This location buzzed with activity, housing laboratories, manufacturing facilities, and administrative offices that employed thousands of workers and contributed significantly to the local economy.

As GSK's needs evolved, the decision was made to reimagine the site into a vibrant mixed-use development called Greenford Quay. Greystar’s project aimed to breathe new life into the former industrial space, transforming it into a thriving waterfront community complete with commercial establishments and recreational spaces.

Today, this location stands as a testament to urban renewal, blending modern living with nods to its industrial heritage. This revitalised neighbourhood still makes a significant contribution to the area, offering a mix of residential comforts, retail conveniences, and leisure amenities, symbolising a fresh chapter in the history of Greenford.


From Fire Station to Canvas The Old Fire Station

Canvas The Old Fire Station has a storied history that adds to its charm and character. Built in the late 19th century, the building was originally a fire station, serving the Birmingham community with essential firefighting services. Its robust architecture and prime position rendered it a prominent fixture in the neighbourhood.

As time moved on and community needs shifted, the building underwent many adaptations. It saw stints as a storage facility, a community hub and student housing, all while retaining its distinctive red-brick facade and towering arched entrances.

In recent years, Greystar acquired the building and renovated it into Canvas The Old Fire Station. The goal was to upgrade it for students while preserving its historical exterior. The result is a blend of old-world charm and modern comfort, with updated interiors and all the necessary amenities for a convenient student lifestyle.

Today, this community is a delightful mix of Birmingham's history and modernity. Situated in the heart of the city, it’s fascinating past and modern offerings, including study areas, social spaces, and a private gym, make it the ideal choice for students looking for a vibrant and comfortable place to call home.


From historical landmarks to modern marvels, Greystar is dedicated to sustainability, innovation, and community engagement and will continue to create extraordinary places where people love to live.


From interior design to product sharing and outdoor spaces, discover more about the ongoing projects transforming our European properties on the Greystar blog.

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