The skills of professional valuers within Robert Sterling Surveyors have played a key role in the success of Miller Heights – a major new building project in Maidstone, and the conversion of a former run-down office block into residential apartments.
Working closely with Amicus Property Finance, and its client – the property developers Smith Homes 5 Limited – Robert Sterling helped to ensure the funding was available to convert 65 former office units into 123 one and two bedroom apartments over 11 floors, and transform part of the town centre in the process.
Arwel Griffith FRICS led the Robert Sterling team, providing the initial valuation to enable Smith Homes to secure the development capital required, and give confidence to Amicus Property Finance to lend throughout the project duration. A funding line of £3.8m was agreed in three stages: a day one drawdown; a cash flow facility during the 12-month period of development; and a further advance facility as the project progressed.
Arwel says that the key to the success of the project was the trust established between the three parties: “It is all about confidence,” Arwel explains. “The lender has to have confidence in your valuation in order to lend, and the developer needs to have the confidence in you that you have the skills and knowledge to underwrite such a project with your professional expertise and reputation.
“We have built a strong working relationship with Amicus and especially its in-house QS Cedric Houghton-Brown, and are delighted to have played our part in bringing this project to life.”
Barry Merner from Smith Homes agrees that Robert Sterling played a vital role in the development: “The relationship that Amicus has with Arwel Griffith and his team at Robert Sterling brings extra benefit to a developer who appreciates the value of regular contact and constructive on-site meetings,” he said.
The project was completed on schedule and includes off street parking and a private gym for residents. The quality of the finish, the proximity to the town centre and the fact that units were bought as they completed made Miller Heights an attractive proposition for first time buyers. With the influx of new residents, previously empty retail units have now re-opened their doors and the area in now getting back to being a thriving inner town area.
Robert Sterling Surveyors provides a range of professional survey services to commercial and residential finance providers nationwide. It also works closely with private clients (including developers), landlords, tenants and owner/occupiers of commercial, semi commercial and residential investment properties. It has recently been nominated in the Mortgage Strategy Awards 2016 within the Best Surveyor/Valuer category.