Former factory renovation in Ramsgate wins top property award

The former rock factory in Hibernia Street

A development in Ramsgate has won Property Deal of the Year for Arcvelop Investor Group (AIG), led by local investors and architects Marc Turnier and Paula Corell.

AIG, which also includes directors Andy Graham and Mike Clay, won the title at the 2023 Property Investor Awards for the conversion project in Hibernia Street of a former rock sweet factory.

The factory, built in the 1800s, was converted into eight apartments. The development underwent a sympathetic restoration of the building’s original character as a prominent corner building within the Conservation Area.

The project’s luxury industrial design even caught the attention of Channel 4 and will be featured in the Great British Home Restoration in 2024.

Marc and Paula

Mr Turnier was also shortlisted for Property Developer of the Year and AIG was shortlisted for Property Development of the Year (above £1 Million) for the conversion of the former nursery and garage in Southwood Road into five flats and a detached dwelling comprising Faversham Villa.

Faversham Villa

In this project, they combined modern amenities with the property’s Victorian, regency-style historical features, while using the latest design technologies and sustainable and energy-efficient materials and systems.

The Great British Home Restoration crew also filmed this development in 2022.

The conversion at Faversham Villa

Mr Turnier said: “The beautiful coastline and harbour makes it a place people want to live and come back to. As it’s a special town with lots of heritage, it makes it even more rewarding to breathe new life into properties that have sat empty or in disrepair for decades.

“Arcvelop brings together high-quality architectural design with commercially viable development. With our in-house team of designers, we’re extremely passionate about providing design-led sympathetic restorations to help provide positive impacts to the local community.

Hibernia Street

“We won Property Deal of the Year for our conversion of a former rock sweet factory, which exemplifies the types of architectural developments we strive to achieve. The scheme has brought well designed new housing to the local area by reusing a former vacant industrial building, retaining its character and providing a positive impact to the local area.”

Another project being brought forward in Ramsgate by AIG involves part Grade II listed Victoria House and neighbouring Dundee House in Albion Place.

Applications have been submitted to Thanet council for change of use at Victoria House” from offices to 9 residential flats and for  “Dundee House” for a change of use from offices to 15 flats.

Albion Place

The external changes to Victoria House include the restoration of the original features of number 20 Albion Place which is listed; stripping back the render at 21 & 22 Albion Place; replacement of windows at the front and rear; reinstatement of front basement lightwells; new entrances and front doors to the upper ground floors, and the retention of the traditional veranda at the first floor of 20 Albion Place, and replication of a similar balcony at 21 and 22 Albion Place.

The proposal includes alterations to the rear car park to provide space for 11 vehicles and 30 new secure cycle parking spaces.

Albion Place was bomb damaged during the Second World War which destroyed 7-9 and 16-19 Albion Place, the sites of which are currently used as hard surface car parks. 20-26 Albion Place is also believed to have been bomb damaged during this period and was subject to significant internal and external alterations, with only the exterior of number 20 having recognisable original features.

Significant alterations to the internal layout created horizontal connections to facilitate the office use and changed the character of the buildings entirely.

Albion Place is otherwise characterised by its Listed four storey Georgian terrace houses.

Planning documents say: “The proposed changes will return the buildings to their original use and restore and replicate the former glory of the listed features at 20 Albion Place.”

If planning permissions are granted AIG will focus on the restoration and conversion in 2024.


  1. I walk past that Hibernia bodge up often and how anyone can think it is good let alone worthy of praise sums up today’s society! It is so poor! Weeds are growing out if the flint where they have spray painted directly over without preparation! The brickwork is already discoloured and it was it not snagged? Bodge it and run!

      • It is my opinion which I am entitled too! Did the article mention how the development raised the height of the roof without consent so that the flats opposite have lost their view of the harbour or did it even ask the neighbours what they thought of it? I am for redevelopment of a brownfield site but not when they break rules in a so called conservation area!

        • How can they have raised the roof without planning consent? That doesn’t make any sense to me.

          So basically you’re just miserable as it’s now blocked your view of the harbour… might as well just say that at the start.

          • Yes they have and no idea how they were allowed but they got away with it! The local councillors were made aware.

            I do not live there but that shouldn’t matter! Have you seen it recently up close?

      • Reply to Karen Doyle-It certainly is. Though it’s a pity that TCC didn’t (couldn’t?) buy it and convert it into council housing. When did the seaside-rock factory close down?

  2. As a child I remember the rock factory was where the “ snow balls” were invented I think they are still available today. Marshmallows covered with chocolate with a “snow” covered.
    When the man in the factory see me and my mate Phil looking through the door he used to give us a bag of broken rocks. I think his name was Mr Roland. Happy days and well done on getting the property award I’m sure Mr Roland will be pleased to know his old rock shop as we called is now all all posh.

  3. My mum used to work at the rock factory many years ago. It closed its doors donkeys years ago. However, Tavio(the owner) and his wife continued to live upstairs. It’s incredibly sad to know that all our rock, now comes from up north. Every Friday, my sister and I would meet our mum when she finished and Tavio would always give us the ends of the rock from the buckets. It was down to him, I got my very first job in bembom brothers making candy floss. Good luck to the new place. Just sad to see such a great place turned into flats.

    • I think they of meant that many local residents wrote to th ecouncil to object about the height and that for a property that had two proerties it was I think proposed to have 8 at the time. None of the objections made any difference of course and I was surprised as it is within the conservation area. On top of that we had to endure intimidating builders who flouted health and safety regs as well as blocking the roads daily for a year. The ‘developer’ was not very helpful concerning these issues either!

Comments are closed.