Last edited 18 Apr 2016

ARCHIVE Development Securities Ideas competition blog

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Anna Rowell (pictured above), winner of the Designing Buildings Wiki and Development Securities PLC ideas competition ‘How do we keep investors interested in UK property?’ was awarded £500 and invited to Development Securities offices to see how they keep their investors interested in UK property. Here’s what she found…

After winning the recent ideas competition, ‘How do we keep investors interested in UK property?’, I spent a fascinating day at Development Securities’ offices in London. I arrived in the morning to be ushered into a conference call that was already in full flow between Duncan Trench (Director of Development Group and Head of Delivery at Development Securities) and a team involved in the legal aspects of one of their mixed use developments.

Throughout the day I was privileged to shadow Duncan on a number of projects which differed hugely in scale, function, location and complexity. These included major educational and research facilities, retail developments, urban regeneration projects, mixed-use developments and residential schemes.

This completely challenged my naïve assumption that property development is primarily concerned with offices and high-end residential blocks in city centres. What also stood out to me was the incredible variety of people who play a role in property development, from contractors, engineers and architects, to lawyers and accountants.

As a recent graduate in architecture, it was a great insight for me to sit on the client side of meetings with architects. It really made me aware of the dynamics that drive development from an investor’s perspective and the importance of factors such as; risk, value for money in building methods and materials, how to maximise profits through reducing ‘wasted’ space, meeting timescales, and delivering coherent and feasible proposals. These wider issues can be hard to remember when you are sat in front of a computer, absorbed in your own design, but from what I saw, the most successful meetings were those in which the architects really understood what was being asked of them by the client, and could justify their proposals.

It was a great privilege to see what goes on behind the scenes at Development Securities. They generate profits through careful management and development of land and property across the UK, building a strong reputation for successfully delivering projects that create long-term value. This is a careful balance between investment and return, predicting the market and spotting unique opportunities when they arise. From what I saw, they are doing this very successfully.

You can read Anna's competition winning idea by clicking here