THEY look like new build flats with all mod cons.

But just a year ago these eight properties in an A-listed tenement building were in an appalling state of disrepair after years of mismanagement.

The Alexander 'Greek' Thomson building at 19 Garturk Street is one of the most architecturally important in the area but, as our photographs show, it had been left to crumble by previous owners.

Last February Govanhill Housing Association purchased the last flat in the block and work to rescue and refurbish the building began.

And now the flats are ready for their new residents, association bosses said they hope the transformation will have a wider impact on the local community.

Annie Macfarlane, chairwoman of Govanhill Housing Association and local resident, said: "You can see from the photos how much work the association has had to put in to restore this property to a home where our tenants can live safely and comfortably.

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"The flats were in an extreme state of disrepair after years of mismanagement and neglect, but now, following investment from the Association and our project partners the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council, they have been transformed into desirable family homes.

"Not only do the flats have newly fitted kitchens and bathrooms, they are also more energy efficient, and retain many of the original decorative features, such as the intricate cornice work.

"This project goes to show what can be achieved when we invest in our tenements and the communities around them.

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"We hope that the transformation of this once dilapidated close will have a deeper impact which goes beyond the physical fabric of the building."

The properties were bought over as part of the South-West Govanhill Property Acquisition and Repair Programme, a four year programme of works now in its third year.

The project started onsite in April 2019, with the improvement of eight flats alongside extensive common repairs to the dilapidated building.

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Planning Permission and Listed Building Consents meant a list of requirements from natural stone front elevation indents, slated roof, cast rainwater goods, sash and case windows, panelled internal doors, full timber finishings and decorative plaster details.

Some layouts have been altered to bring the accommodation up to modern standards with private bedrooms in one one-bedroom flat, and seven two-bedroom flats.

The water, gas and electrical services have all been replaced, together with new central heating systems.

Internal doors have been replaced, ceilings have been fireproofed and smoke detection is in every room.

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New bathroom suites with quality shower provision have been installed and new kitchens have been fitted, either off the living room in the smaller flat, or with separate kitchens in the two bed flats.

Original decorative features including cornices and generous room proportions have been restored to return the character of the listed building.

The common repairs have included; new roof, chimney repairs, new gutters and downpipes; extensive rot and damp treatment; repairs to stonework, new close windows, stairway repairs, improvements to the closes doors and entry system, communal TV provision and redecoration of the close.

Externally, the smart look of the improved stonework, sash and case windows, new railings and improved front gardens transform the appearance of the area at street level.

A key feature of the improvements has been the radical enhancements in insulation.

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Ground floors and top floor ceilings have been insulated to new-build standards. External walls have been lined with insulation, and windows replaced with high performance double glazing.

The new central heating systems are powered by high efficiency condensing boilers.

This combination of insulation more than meets the Energy Efficiency Standards for Social Housing [EESSH] and shows the capacity of the existing stock to achieve modern standards as well as providing comfortable homes and affordable bills for tenants.

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In addition, the range of improvements has enabled all the properties to exceed the Scottish Housing Quality Standard [SHQS] which Housing Association stock is required to meet.

This covers a range of issues from ensuring properties are wind and watertight to providing adequate kitchen storage.

The association has since acquired several properties in the neighbouring close at 21 Garturk Street, which is also in need of essential common and structural repair works.

The two closes together would transform the street and form an exemplar of what can be achieved to raise the standard of poor condition tenements and run-down neighbourhoods.

The Design Team associated with this restoration are; Govanhill Housing Association, Assist Design Architects, TCS Construction Consultants, Punch Consulting Engineers and Morris & Spottiswood main contractors.

Sitting at 19 Garturk Street the historic property forms a ‘bookend’ on the Garturk-Allison-Daisy ‘Greek’ Thomson tenement group.

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The south end of the street block was constructed earlier than the rest of Garturk Street, around 1877, after Thomson’s death in 1875.

The property acquisition programme is funded by £20 million of Scottish Government money along with a Glasgow City Council contribution of £10m and £3.24m from Govanhill HA.

To date, the Association has acquired more than 330 properties and let around 190 homes. Over 100 flats are currently being renovated.

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The factoring service has taken on the management of 66 closes in the South West Govanhill area, many of which were previously unfactored.