THE clues are everywhere, from Stirling Road or Hurricane Way to Spitfire House. And with good reason.
In 1936 Clifton Moor was an airport, and once even home to a flying circus. Then, during the Second World War, RAF Clifton, as it became, was a relief landing ground for Halifax bombers based at nearby Linton-on-Ouse.
As with many airfields there was no requirement to keep Clifton open when peace was declared and by the late 1980s most of the buildings had disappeared, although the runways still remained.
These days the pilots wouldn’t recognise the place, covered as it is by the vast Clifton Moor Retail Park, a housing estate and a plethora of offices.
Or at least it was until recently.
Some of those office blocks either failed to sell or, like the airbase before them, became surplus to requirements and of late it has become fashionable to turn them into flats. Now Aviator Court, is the latest to be cleared for take-off as a stunning new development of apartments.
And they’re reaching for the skies. Indeed only seven of the first phase of 18 are still available.
You can see why. From £130,000 for a one bedroomed flat and £155,000 for those with two, this is a steal in York. But no corners have been cut. On offer are contemporary modern interiors with high quality internal fittings featuring a hall, open plan living kitchen, two bedrooms, bathroom/WC and an allocated parking space.
The ground floor apartments even boast a private garden, which is not only rare at this price level, but for any flat in York.
The fitted kitchens are of particular note, with their clean lines and matching units. They have contrasting laminate work surfaces, inset stainless steel sink /drainer, washer/dryer and plumbing for a dishwasher.
Then there is the oven and hob which features a spectacular stainless steel extractor fan above, not to mention the fridge freezer and breakfast bar.
The two bedrooms are both good sized, while the bathroom is well equipped with a three piece suite comprising panel bath with shower over, low level WC, pedestal wash hand basin, ladder style towel rail, tiled floor and part tiled walls.
The idea of converting offices began with Helmsley Group’s developments Neon and Halo. Now a private developer has continued the trend and it makes perfect sense. Because these offices are already in situ, it’s cheaper to convert them than buy land and build from scratch.
This development has so far seen two blocks converted, and by sitting in its own grounds, Aviator Court is unique.
Kevin Webb of Churchills - who are handling the sales - says work will begin on the second phase in June, with a third to come.
“In York there haven’t been many offices turned into apartments,” he says. “Clifton Moor is a big retail area, but the housing here is generally for families.
“A lot of people working here are young and they are having to travel from outside. So the developers have found a niche for one and two bedroomed flats, which are ideal for them.”
That said Churchills have also sold a couple of apartments to people who downsized to be near family in Clifton Moor.
Another feature that will be of interest to first time buyers is that apartments at Aviator Court can be bought through the Government’s Help to Buy scheme.
“We’re an expensive city to live in and I can’t think of any other new build within this price range in York, “says Mr Webb. “For us, having any new first time buyer properties on the books is ideal because they are so few and far between. “We’re a family business, if we can help local people to buy affordable property we are delighted.”
The clues to its past may be everywhere, from Stirling Road to Hurricane Way, that Clifton Moor used to be home to RAF pilots. But after too many years of being priced out of the market, soon it will be young professionals who are flying high from Aviator Court.
What a fantastic feeling that must be.
The apartments at Aviator Court are available for immediate viewing through Churchills Estate Agents, York.
Contact: 01904 646611