The £5m scheme, named ‘The Workshops’, is a new hospitality concept that borrows from the Airbnb concept for short-term city lets.
The ‘hands-off’, self-contained apartments development will be built in Garden St as an offshoot of a planned student accommodation scheme built on the same site by Southern Grove’s sister company Future Generation.
The additional short lets will add 19 serviced apartments to Steel City’s 324 student bedrooms.
Guests will be able to book online, receive a code and access the apartments without talking to a single person.
Southern Grove will start tendering for a construction contractor next month.
Andrew Southern, Chairman of Southern Grove and Future Generation, said: “The irony of unveiling an apartment block, halfway through a pandemic, where guests don’t have to see anyone else hasn’t escaped us.
“Clearly social distancing wasn’t what we had in mind when we conceived of The Workshops but these units do operate almost independently. They are completely self-contained and can be accessed by guests without any human interaction.
“The lower staffing costs are a deliberate strategy. Guests get a premium product at a price they’re not expecting.
“A lot of people realise they pay a hefty fee to stay in city centre hotels and are aware that much of that cash is being used to pay staff when they barely spend any time there.