I had been exposed to the property industry from a young age through my family company which had a background in investing in commercial property, and it always felt like a natural choice of career for me. I cut my teeth in the industry and built up my knowledge of the London property market by working for DTZ and during my time there I decided I had the necessary entrepreneurial enthusiasm to set up on my own. I undertook a Real Estate Masters MSc and spent a year working for the family business to cement my qualifications to set up the company before founding Linton Group in 2010. I started with a single unit scheme in South Kensington, and the company expanded from there.
The six apartment development at 268 Fulham Road was certainly a breakthrough project and was the first time that I had real confidence in what Linton Group could do. Previously each project had been financed privately but with Fulham Road we sought, and secured, financial backers. The project then provided a shop window for the company on the back of which we were able to secure finance for further projects and expand our portfolio.
In addition this was the first project in which we really recognised the impact that a design led scheme could have on the creation of a really beautiful property. Following this we wanted design to become more of a key focus and unique selling point for Linton and led to the formation of Gordon Duff & Linton, our sister company that now lead the interior design of each project. We achieved a record breaking price per sq ft for the area, 40% higher than what had previously been achieved in the area.
The Maple Building is the biggest scheme that we have undertaken to date and the one which I take most personal pride in. The development in Kentish Town comprises of 57 apartments, including 7 penthouse units, and is of a specification not previously seen in the area.
Launched in February 2016 we smashed sales records for the area, achieving 20% more per square foot than has been achieved in other new builds in the area and 40% over estimates for the penthouses. The development is approaching completion now, it is the first development over 20 units which we have undertaken and has been another landmark scheme for the company.
We will soon be launching a new project in Hampstead which is definitely the most difficult scheme that we have undertaken so far. In terms of construction techniques the site is bordered by a Grade II listed church and has two schools nearby which presented a range of technical issues and consideration in terms of noise, dust etc. In addition, the scheme required a double basement excavation which proved to be a challenge for our construction team, but one which we have overcome and the end result is well worth the effort.
This is the biggest acquisition that we have undertaken to date and is our first step into the ‘super prime’ market which was always going to present us with some challenges as we are venturing into new territory. In addition we are working in a difficult market in terms of raising finance which further complicated the scheme.
However we are really excited to be bringing the scheme to market later this year, I believe that it is by pushing the boundaries of comfortability that we are really able to excel and I believe that New End will be demonstrative of this.
We have made a deliberate choice to develop new schemes located in Zone 2 which are still within central London but are outside of the confines of traditional super prime areas. It is our ambition to introduce luxury properties in areas that are not traditionally associated with luxury and our portfolio currently includes sites in Hampstead, St John’s Wood, Paddington, Fitzrovia and even further afield in Croydon.
The referendum has no doubt affected the London property market and it is certainly a difficult industry in which to operate right now and will remain so for some time to come. However, we have not seen a marked change in terms of appetite for our schemes, I believe that if you offer a product of quality it will sell and sell at a good price. We pride ourselves on delivering a high quality product that people want and our results in the last year are testament to this.
We currently have eight exciting and diverse new projects in the pipeline, ranging from a new build luxury 12 unit scheme in St John’s Wood, which has amazing views of Regent’s Park and a single unit luxury town house in one of the most prestigious addresses in South Kensington. Overall, subject to planning, Linton Group has a potential of £340 million GDV in property redevelopments and new build developments over the next four years.
On the pure residential development side, we are only tentatively looking at new sites and will only look to purchase sites which we think are particularly special in the opportunity they offer, likely in zone two areas where we can bring a new level of specification.
However, we are very actively expanding our commercial arm and actively adding sites to this portfolio, having recently acquired an office investment in a key growth location in London with long term asset management and redevelopment plays. For the next 12-18 months we are looking to heavily expand this area of our portfolio with a string of new acquisitions.
Attention to detail, with the help of Gemma Gordon Duff from our sister company Gordon Duff & Linton I take particular care and attention in interior design and colour schemes. This is because this is what people can see if they come to look at one of our properties, the interiors are what will capture people’s hearts and help them to envision living in that apartment.
Secondly personality, giving every room in each development a character of its own. It is that which allows Linton schemes to achieve premiums in up and coming areas where other developers have opted for more generic schemes with less design or character, white washed walls and white laminate kitchens for example.
Steve Jobs, entrepreneur, businessman, inventor, and industrial designer, co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Apple. Throughout his career Steve identified gaps in the market and created revolutionary and innovative products with Apple fast becoming one of the biggest companies in the world. His tenacity and drive in business is highly admirable.
App – Tractive – a new app that allows me to track my mischievous dog via GPS when he wanders too far
Book – Lord of the Rings
Holiday – a split between Capri in Italy, and Zermatt, Switzerland.