But which new, exciting and successful individuals from the Snapchatting millennial generation are really making a difference at the cutting edge of London development? In no particular order, here are some of the Capital’s hotshot developers to look out for.
WILLIAM AND BENJAMIN SAMUELS, 30 – FOUNDERS, WILBEN
Suave twin brothers Will and Ben Samuels have development in their blood after visiting projects with their father as young boys, “we got a lot of our work experience with dad’s mates as we tried to decide what side of the business we wanted to be in” Will said. In addition to family connections, the pair have also had experience in top tier property firms including Northacre, Brahm and Foxtons. Now they pound the pavements of the Capital’s most exclusive areas, managing a range of developments for Wilben in Knightsbridge, Belgravia and Chelsea.
After 8 years in the business, their most luxurious project is an impressive seven-story, eight-bedroom 7,761-square-foot house on Chester Square and is listed with Savills for a cool £28 million. More recently they competed a four-storey townhouse in The Little Bolton’s in Chelsea, which is currently listed for £6.95 million.
Although prime central London property has had a tough few years, DealMakerz expects the flexible Samuels duo to continue their ascent and stake their claim at the forefront of luxury London development.
On agents: “The agents we choose have always worked very well for us because we choose on the basis of the individual agent not specifically the agency. The agents we deal with are sharp and they know what they’re doing.”
EDO MAPELLI MOZZI, 33 – CEO, BANDA PROPERTY
Banda Property started life as a small development firm completing the odd side extension or one-off basement conversion, but has since grown to a sizeable operation boasting a portfolio in excess of £60 million in development.
Founder and CEO Edo Mapelli Mozzi is fiercely ambitious and uses long-standing relationships with agents and buyers’ agents to source off-the-wall properties, typically with a quirky or architecturally interesting edge. Previous projects have included converting an old bakery in Battersea into 5 apartments and a penthouse, “a lot of our business model has been producing prime lateral flats outside the traditional zone 1 area” he said.
On financing: “I had no doubts when I first asked the bank to finance £45m-worth of development. Maybe I should have been more nervous but I’m a very optimistic person.”
CANDICE MATTHEWS, 31 – HEAD OF RESIDENTIAL, CUSHMAN & WAKEFIELD
Candice Matthews joined Cushman & Wakefield after graduating from Reading Uni with a 1st class degree in Land Management. She quickly made an impression and at 27-years-old was seconded to the firms Asia-Pacific offices to create new relationships with property investors from the region. Three years later, Matthews is now the youngest ever female Director at Cushman & Wakefield, managing staff in London, China and Hong Kong in addition to being Head of Residential.
The accomplished, multi-lingual exec has worked on a host of developments in multiple capacities; new homes sales on Battersea Exchange, pre-marketing design on Convoy’s Wharf and marketing for the 21-storey One Commercial Street in Aldgate East.
Matthews has achieved a huge amount in her short career. One to watch.
On progress: “This year, my team and I have doubled the scale of our operations while at the same time advising on around £900m of development land and 15,000 new homes.”
GARY LINTON, 31 – FOUNDER, THE LINTON GROUP
Aged only 25 Gary Linton founded The Linton Group, specializing in the acquisition and development of residential and mixed use property in central London.
Five years later he formed a separate interior design company to accompany his projects, Gordon Duff & Linton, claiming the total development pipeline of The Linton Group is now in the hundreds of millions. Linton started out by purchasing a two-bed flat on Gloucester Road using bank finance and inheritance money from his grandfather. Multi-unit projects have followed in Battersea, Paddington, Dalston and more recently the impressive Maple Building in Kentish Town.
On business: “It was just me sitting in my living room refurbishing single flats…we’ve now built up a development pipeline of about £300m in development assets across London, all predominantly multi-unit apartment schemes”
REZA MERCHANT, 28 – CEO, THE COLLECTIVE
Dapper developer Reza Merchant conceived his idea for ‘The Collective‘ whilst studying at the London School of Economics, wondering whether it would be possible to provide an alternative to the overpriced, low quality accommodation suffered by young people in London. He convinced his parents to take out a £1.8 million bridging loan against their home to develop his first project – an abandoned mansion block in Camden.
Hailed as the future of renting for millennials, The Collective’s 150 sqr ft ‘crash pad’ apartments are £1,100 per month and come with all bills, a gym, a cleaner to change your bedsheets, a book exchange, communal living areas with regular parties and BBQ’s – it’s now the largest complex of its kind in the world.
The ambitious entrepreneur has plans to deliver a further 5,000 beds as well as replicating the model in New York. DealMakerz think he may have some competition with WeLive, Common and Krash, but with such a strong start Merchant more than deserves his place in the Top 5 list.
On the future of property: “People will look to go to one portal, which can take care of everything from start to finish – people seek convenience and ease.”