The Strand From eyesore to asset
A restaurant space with five new apartments above has transformed a formerly run down Grade 2 listed building into a smart new development known as 36/37 The Strand and located in Exmouth town centre.
Project managers for the scheme are Ferriby Design and Construction; main contractors are A and J Carpenters Ltd.
The building, formerly a small department store known as Thomas Tuckers, had been empty and vacant for 10 years. Planning consent had been granted for a ground floor restaurant unit together with 11 flats – significant overdevelopment – which had lapsed due to non-viability of the scheme.
The local authority were keen to see movement, as was the owner, who was looking to originally to sell the property, but who had the finance available, as well as the desire to carry out the development, but only on the basis of capable project management.
A development agreement was entered into for Ferriby Design and Construction Ltd to assess build costs, obtain the necessary revised planning consent, appoint with consultation all the necessary parties including architects and builders, and run all aspects of the building project.
The company will also oversee the letting and potential funding of the commercial unit on the ground floor and newly built residential units, on the basis of a phased project management fee over an 18 month period, followed by a profit share if a certain level of profit is achieved.
A revised consent was subsequently obtained for a 2,500 square-foot restaurant at ground floor level with five flats (four two-bedroom and one one-bedroom) on the first and second floor, with parking, together with two new build apartments adjacent. The consent was significantly more practical and better than the previous consent, meaning the scheme was eminently viable.
Martin Burgess, director of Ferriby Design and Construction said: “The building was an eyesore and was in a very poor state, and locals very much wanted to see it refurbished.
“We re-roofed the building and have carried out significant works to create the new apartments (four of which are on the first floor and one on the second). This included installing new partitions whilst retaining existing features such as arches, and removing the existing UPVC framed windows, which were replaced with wooden framed windows in a style more in keeping with the character of the building. We also blocked off one window.”
All new services have been installed to serve the new apartments, together with new fitted kitchens and bathrooms.
On the ground floor, the original interior was stripped out and the spectacular shop front has been sensitively restored, including renovating the wooden frame and refurbishing the glazing.
Further works include remediation to rectify structural issues and re-rendering of the external facade.
A further phase of the project involves the construction of two further apartments to the side of the building, over its five existing car parking spaces.
Martin Burgess said: “Challenges of the project included the listing of the building, which required all the usual development consents.
“The first phase of the project has just been completed and the project has run smoothly and on budget.”
Ferriby Design and Construction Ltd was specifically established to assist developers, investors, and general property owners in helping to unlock the potential in buildings they own.
In particular the company has built up an enviable reputation for dealing with listed and problem properties across the country, where detailed knowledge of the planning system and how to extract the best possible consent taking into account the nature of the building and the commercial circumstances is essential.