From his first business venture running a go-karting track in Hull to rubbing shoulders with Justin Timberlake, life has certainly had its colourful moments for Jason Coleman.

After bringing the curtain down on a career in the clubbing scene, he's now helping spearhead a residential revolution in the city centre.

"I suppose I had to grow up at some point and I sort of fell into property by accident but, for all its up and downs, I do get a real buzz from it," he says.

His first major city centre project was the conversion of a late Victorian office in Bowlalley Lane in Hull's Old Town just under a decade ago.

Watch: How Hull city centre could be transformed

Turning the more modern high-rise Essex House office block in Manor Street into 45 apartments came next while a third scheme at Liberty House in High Street is nearly complete.

What used be the home to the probation service is now a 25-apartment complex and the first to include units for sale rather than rent.

However, his portfolio's most eye-catching project is probably the on-going conversion of the former Queens Gardens police station.

When finished, the new-look building will feature 94 apartments including 21 new two-storey duplex units being added to the existing roof.

The interior of one of the new apartments in Liberty House in High Street, Hull
The interior of one of the new apartments in Liberty House in High Street, Hull

"I'd spent 16 years running club nights across the UK but I always wanted to come back and do something in Hull," said Mr Coleman.

That something was property with an initial focus on acquiring properties in the Avenues area and targeting graduates and young professionals as tenants.

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"I wanted to provide nice places to live with high-end fixtures and fittings such as plasma TVs and that's something I've stuck with.

"You see it elsewhere in places like Leeds and Manchester so why not Hull? Some people said I was mad but we have shown there is a demand for quality."

The mini-cinema inside Liberty House
The mini-cinema inside Liberty House

He's quick to point out his company's expanding city centre portfolio is not simply down to him. "I work with a sleeping partner who provides the finance. He's a prolific businessman who wants to stay in the background and that works for both us.

"He's got the confidence to invest and that can only be a good thing for Hull."

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The Queens Gardens project is certainly ambitious, featuring the installation of five lifts and two major new stairwells as well as the construction of the new duplex apaprtments.

He said: "It's going to take longer than we originally thought because it is a technically challenging build. Hopefully, we should be ready by mid-2020."

The new apartments taking shape at the old Queens Gardens police station in Hull city centre
The new apartments taking shape at the old Queens Gardens police station in Hull city centre

Despite the hold-ups, he's already looking ahead to another scheme which is about to be submitted for planning approval.

If given the go-ahead, it will see a new 30-apartment complex being built between the King William pub in Lowgate and Burnett House in Castle Street. Together, they represent a total investment of around £30m.

The developments certainly fit into Hull City Council's recently-publlished vision for the city centre which is seeking to encourage up to 2,500 new homes over the next 15 years.

"I think it's the right approach. Hull is not Leeds or Manchester, it has its own identity and when people move here for a job they are invariably surprised at how nice it is."

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