Our Forever Head Office
"The minute I walked into 23 Westwick Street, I knew we had found our forever home"
We moved into our beautiful new building at the beginning of July 2022 giving our Norwich head office a new residence on Westwick Street among the hustle and bustle of the Norwich Lanes - the home of local independents. Up until then, we resided in Norwich's Creative Quarter on St George's Street; a building in which we had been based in since the company was founded in 1975. If only those walls could talk, I'm sure there would be a lot of secrets, memories and stories to share!
Previously a piano shop and before that 'The Drum' public house, Sandra Reynolds Agency acquired the new premises in November 2021 and has since given it a full renovation. "The minute I walked into 23 Westwick Street, I knew we had found our forever home" says SR Managing Director, Tessa Dewing. "We had been looking to purchase a freehold office for a while as while we loved where we were, we had grown so much and lacked space. However, our wish list was considerable as we wanted period, self contained, in a specific area and needed a very large open plan space to house our enormous booking desk."
"I had been driving past this 4 story building for years - it always had a beautiful grand piano in the window - and had thought many times how perfect the building would be for us. We almost missed out as, due to it being a few square feet smaller than my RightMove search criteria size of 2500 sq ft, it had not appeared on my alerts. Luckily someone told me about it and I immediately contacted the agent, who told me they were not showing anyone else around as the sealed bids were due in the next day and they had already received a considerable number.
I managed to persuade the agents to meet me there and show me around and just loved it. The ground floor was uninhabitable - it had a tin roof over the top of what used to be a yard but the space was perfect for our booking room. I knew there would be major works to get this floor right including steel work to open up the space and a new roof but thought the upstairs rooms would just require cosmetic renovations. I had to get my bid in the following day and did this, not thinking we would get it as there were a lot of interested developers. When the agent called the following week I was expecting to be told we had not been successful and literally cried and jumped around the office when I heard we had got it!"
Spread over four floors, we have a number of gorgeous offices, an in-house photographic studio, spacious meeting rooms, comfortable break-out areas, shower and bathroom, and, of course, a fully stocked wine fridge! The building is packed full of stunning original features such as fireplaces, ceiling roses and wooden floors, most of which revealed themselves during renovations. Tessa says "If I had done any due diligence, there is no way I would have bought this building... I didn't have the time to have it surveyed and was lucky enough to be a cash buyer so had to make a snap decision. When my electrician came round I told him I thought the electrics on the top 3 floors were all good and it was just the ground floor that needed wiring. This was unfortunately not the case and we ended up having to have the entire 4 floors of the building completely rewired including emergency lighting, fire alarms, new heating/air conditioning and hard and wireless wiring for all our IT equipment. It didn't stop there, the entire building also required replumbing and every day for around 4 months, I almost wanted to cry when I went in as it looked worse and worse every day... it was like my vision was going backwards."
Finally Tessa's visions slowly started to come to life and we are so excited to be working in our beautiful new space. "I pinch myself every day to be lucky enough to be the owner of this beautiful building says Tessa. We found out after the purchase had gone through that we were not in fact the highest bidder. The then-owners didn't want the building to go to a property developer to be turned into flats - they chose us as they knew the reputation of our company as a long-established local business and liked that we were planning to restore the building and continue the commercial use."
SOME OF OUR NEW ROOMS...
We hope you love our new office as much as we do. We are still learning more about the history of the building and enjoying exploring all that the surrounding area has to offer. Please come and see us for a coffee and a chat where we now have lots of space to update your shots.