Published On: Mon, Oct 21st, 2013
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Principles of Development: Alan Waxman

Alan WaxmanMD of prime developer Landmass, lays down his five favourite projects and ten golden rules…


What are your ten principles of development?

  1. Ask yourself, who’s going to buy it? After all, you’re only buying a “widget” to sell it on, so design accordingly.
  2. Make sure you can get the numbers to stack up and then make sure again. Get a QS to double check your numbers, because two pairs of eyes are better than one! Due diligence is absolutely crucial.
  3. Negotiate with your best set of cards. Pay cash, and refinance later, and do get an excellent solicitor.
  4. Make sure you maximise space and light in every way possible. More square footage should equal more profit if you maximise the space in the right way.
  5. When preparing a tender, get your specification as concrete as possible to save future disagreements with your builder.
  6. When digging a basement, get your main contractor to oversee the whole project. This will be more expensive but will give you greater control and better results.
  7. Obtain lengthy warranties from contractors, preferably two years.
  8. Snagging is an on-going process, it is never completed. Attention to detail is paramount.
  9. Dressing the property is an art. Painstaking detail creates an emotional and visual experience for buyers.
  10. Give your trusted selling agent every tool available to help them do what they do best.

And your five favourite projects to date?

Grosvenor Crescent Mews

The Challenge: How to introduce natural light with no window to the rear?

The Solution: We formed retractable roof light, on top of a 10.5 metre atrium with waterfall feature.

Grosvenor Crescent Mews, SW1

Belgrave Mews North

The Challenge: To create a bright and functional basement.

The Solution: We raised the ceiling height to 3.2m, installing a glass opening that allows you to see the sky. Light was enhanced by natural materials and internal glass windows and the largest copper fireplace in London creates the wow feature.

Belgrave Mews North, SW1

Ladbroke Grove

The Challenge: To create an iconic design without detracting from the neighbouring Victorian terrace; to maximise all the useable space in this restricted site.

The Solution: We incorporated a well-lit double basement and a contemporary design to complement the Victorian architecture.

Ladbroke Grove, W11

Yeoman’s Row

The Challenge: To transform a pokey, closed-off and dark kitchen.

The Solution: We opened up a wall to the garden and created a wide galley and open feel.

Yeomans Row, SW3

Sheridan Court

The Challenge: To bring life into a dull and lifeless mansion block.

The Solution: We enhanced the traditional features with a modern twist, using brushed steel door hinges and a contemporary fireplace to create a warm space.

And the one that got away?

Admiralty Arch

Admiralty Arch - 'the one that got away'

A once in a lifetime opportunity to create an apartment with views of The Mall and Buckingham Palace on one side and Nelson’s Column on the other.

It doesn’t get much better than that…
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  1. The perfect ten principles of development in a nutshell! ‘Dressing’ your house in art is in the same sense of how you would dress your self permanently! Great article

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