Home Counties: cliff edge lease expiries –

from feasibility to letting (2014)

The problem was prospective significant loss of rental income due to lease expiries on a 40 year old multi-let, mixed use town centre property of c.11,000 sq. m. (c.120,000 sq. ft.). On behalf of an institution, Charles Gardner reviewed its ownership and previous design studies. This revealed a range of exciting options, but no viable solution. A review of previous options was instigated, and a new potentially better value option was added, ahead of coordinating up-to-date feasibility studies. The new option was chosen, refurbishment commenced, and a revised leasing strategy adopted. The project is expected shortly to culminate in its first major letting completing within a few weeks of contractors leaving the building.

Home Counties: so near and yet so far –

unlocking future potential through site assembly (2013)

The problem was a densely developed substantial block of property in an affluent Home Counties town centre, close to the prime pitch but with very limited prominence or connectivity. On behalf of a life fund, Charles Gardner identified an opportunity to acquire an adjoining ownership, part standing investment and part consented development site. Acquisition would open up a range of new options to reposition the fund’s existing ownership, and add value overall. Charles personally secured an off-market opportunity to purchase, negotiated complex heads of terms involving several stages of potential future conditional payments. The purchase process took nearly two years, during which Charles overcame several challenges before the fund successfully completed the purchase, and could begin to review options to add value over the longer term.

Greater Manchester: Green Belt battle –

from adversity to a strategic development site through collaboration (2012)

The problem was a daunting one. It emerged very late in a Core Strategy planning process that part of an exceptionally well located, strategic site of c.130 ha (c.320 acres) in Greater Manchester was to be reallocated as Green Belt. The cause was a passive response to the local authority proposal, and also limited engagement with stakeholders. As a consequence, there was a real risk of losing an existing allocation for development of c.93,000 sq. m. (1,000,000 sq. ft.). Following appointment by the land owner, initial analysis identified key stakeholders in a complex local scene. Charles Gardner personally handled active stakeholder engagement, and also led the client’s appointed team of experts through a series of intense formal planning stages. Submission of a strong technical case, considered liaison, and newly fostered stakeholder support secured an employment allocation in the Council’s newly adopted Core Strategy. A collaborative relationship with the local authority was established and endures, as the land owner and Goshawk strive to meet new challenges thrown up in 2013 by HS2.