Wimshurst Pelleriti was founded on the principle that architecture and development can go hand in hand. Architects know how to design and they know how to manage the build process, perhaps it is arguable that the only thing they lack to succeed as a developer is an understanding of the financial aspect. However, if the financial side can be covered – why would architects not seek to implement their designs for themselves? Our company was founded to do just this – to design well-considered buildings for our clients – yes – but also to buy land and develop it as well as joint venture with clients who own land. We believe that not only does this give us access to the development margin – it actually makes us a better architecture practice as it helps us understand better the cost impact of our design decisions. In addition, it puts us in control of ensuring that the design we envisaged is what the builder delivers. We have come to truly appreciate the value of a well-designed detail and its importance to the contractor.
In our first new-build development – we have taken the role of architect, developer, project manager and contractor. This is quite an undertaking. The site is exactly the sort of complex urban site that we are in a good position to exploit. Indeed, other developers might have been put off because of its complexity & its history. It originally housed two derelict shops as seen above – and the previous owner had tried and failed to get permission for the building below.
We were confident we could do better – but we needed patience – it took us 15 months to get permission for our scheme then a further 8 months to obtain financing and to get the project on site. Now – three years after we had our offer on the site accepted and a lot of bumps in the road – the final steels are going into the roof structure. Perhaps this timeline is the key learning point – there are no short cuts and there will always be bumps in the road. We observe our clients’ bumps as an architect but we live and breathe them as a developer. When you buy a site on spec – its worthless unless you get planning permission for something viable – then once you do get planning - you don’t get paid a dime until you start selling however nice your design is. We very much hope that we both deliver a building of high design quality and make a profit for our investors. Both are on track – we will keep you updated….