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My interview with Property Week

August 14th, 2017 [ No comments ] [ Add comment ]
by Tom Bloxham MBE

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I recently met with Helen Crane from Property Week for a catch up and a chance for me to tell her all about our plans.

The 3-page interview (which can be read here) looked back to when we began “developing trendy loft apartments in former industrial buildings in Manchester and Liverpool city centres”, apartments which defined our “signature style” right through to where we are today with House.

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It outlined how we are “ready to challenge perception” with House as “one of the first developers to launch a major push into modular construction”; it stated that the concept is “making waves in the property industry”.

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It also gave me a chance to talk about our plans to turn the Office Village in Salford Quays into the Boat Shed. A “creative and ambitious” vision which allows us to take on the last bastion of building types; we’ve done Georgian buildings, we’ve done Victorian buildings, we’ve done Art Deco buildings, we’ve done concrete 1960s buildings (check our before and afters here) and this is one of those ugly 1990s office - for which we’re taking inspiration from Berlin artist studios to make it a much more funky office space.

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You can read the full article here)

Filed under: Mills Bakery, New Islington, Park Hill, Plymouth, Royal William Yard, Sheffield, Tom Bloxham MBE, Urban Splash, hoUSe No comments

Our Town Houses are taking shape at Irwell Riverside

Monday, July 24th, 2017

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Check out these great new pictures of our Town Houses taking shape at Irwell Riverside in Manchester.

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There, we’re creating an urban, waterfront neighbourhood on a site is located just off Trinity Way, a few minutes walk from Victoria and Salford Central stations and less than half a mile from Harvey Nics.

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On it, we’re creating 72 family, high spec homes, with the first lot in place and ready for our residents to move into later in the year. There’ll be a mix of three storey 1500 sq ft homes and two storey 1000 sq ft homes available, each customised by customers via our online configuration tool (which you can have a play around with here) before your designs are sent to our factory and built with precision.

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There are just a few Town Houses remaining for sale in our current phase and you can view them here. Or get in touch with our team for more details. You can also learn more about our Houses, their design and how they’re made in this film.

Filed under: Urban Splash, hoUSe No comments

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I recently joined Evan Davies (he of Dragon’s Den and BBC business fame), Geeta Nanda OBE of Thames Valley Housing and Josh Ryan Collins from the New Economics Foundation on a Radio 4 debate on housing - entitled ‘land, the mother of all monopolies’.

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Apparently, I was the only developer prepared (or stupid enough!) to talk about the economics of land supply and development. Hopefully, I argued that property development was not just about buying land and waiting for the cash to roll in, but about how developers have to find the land, get the planning, fund the build, get it built on time and on budget, make the place, and ultimtely sell or rent out the properties. Success only comes about by working closely with local communities and authorities and I talked through examples of how we’ve done this previously at the Northern Quarter in Manchester, and New Islington where we’ve helped create a new park, a marina, a health centre, and a new OFSTED outstanding primary school - transforming one of the worst parts of Manchester into what is now one of the best.

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When host Evan gave me the ‘last word’, it allowed me to outline my vision for changing the market; I suggested that every local authority needs to appoint a city or town architect who will be well resourced, highly regarded and plan and define the vision of what their city wants to be, helping turn land into beautiful places in which we all want to live, work and play.

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Listen to the full programme here and let us know what you think.

Filed under: Affordable homes, Tom Bloxham MBE, Urban Splash, hoUSe No comments

smiths_dock_jun17_house21On Saturday 8th July we’re launching Help to Buy on homes for sale at Smith’s Dock - giving more people a chance to get on the ladder at our Tyneside scheme.

Smith’s Dock is North Shields’ historic shipyard; we recently unveiled the first waterfront homes for sale there and have already sold 50% of them - with the remainder available through Help to Buy.

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It’s an initiative that sees the Government lend buyers up to 20% of the cost of a new-build home free of charge, meaning they need just 5% cash deposit and a 75% mortgage to make up the rest.

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Our launch event’s a chance to tell customers more about how it works - and how affordable home ownership can be.If you want to join us, drop us a line by calling 0191 580 7999, email us or visit the Smith’s Dock website.

Filed under: Urban Splash, hoUSe No comments

Smith’s Dock’s first award!

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

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Our Smith’s Dock development in North Shields has won its first award - just weeks after we first launched the scheme.

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The Offsite Awards crowned the scheme, which we’re creating in joint venture with Places for People, ‘Housing Project of the Year’, namely our modular Town Houses which we created with architects shedkm. It takes the total Urban Splash award count to 395.

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Our first homes are for sale at the scheme; the three storey waterfront modular Town Houses offer great views of the Tyne and you can see them here.

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We’re also on site with our Smokehouses - 80 apartments at the scheme which we’ll launch next year.

And if you want to know more, check out our Smith’s Dock film.

Filed under: Urban Splash, hoUSe No comments

Guest blog: George Clarke on FAB House

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

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I’m always after an excuse to be back in the North East, especially when it’s doing what I love – designing new homes.

I was chuffed therefore to join Urban Splash and Places for People at Smith’s Dock to announce my plans for FAB House, my first pre-fab home collaborative which will see ten town houses launch at the waterfront scheme in North Shields as a complement the 24 shedkm-designed Houses which are already on site.

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I’ve long had a passion for creating modular homes and bringing something different to the market; I’ve spent the past few years doing my due diligence and market research and this is absolutely the right place for me to bring my ideas to life.

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Walking around site and seeing the brand new homes there made me realise how well my own concept will fit. Watch this space for details of my future announcements.

Filed under: Urban Splash, hoUSe No comments

We’re small developer of the year!

Friday, May 12th, 2017

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I had a brilliant night at the RESI Awards in London - not least because Urban Splash received the Small Developer of the Year accolade while I was there!

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We’ve had a brilliant year across the business, especially in our residential efforts. One of the reasons we won this award was for our creation of House, which is now on sale at two sites in Manchester and North Shields, with a third at New Islington already fully sold out and completed.

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Other notable residential achievements in the year included our completion of the first 260 homes at Park Hill - all of which are occupied - and our creation of new rental homes at Velvet Mill.

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The award takes our running total to 392 accolades, see them all here.

Filed under: Bradford, Lister Mills, New Islington, Park Hill, Sheffield, Urban Splash No comments

Talking modular at MIPIM

March 23rd, 2017 [ No comments ] [ Add comment ]
by Tom Bloxham MBE

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I’ve just returned from my 24th consecutive MIPIM; it was a very busy week and I gave four talks and attended 32 meetings!

I was given the opportunity to talk lots about House; one of the highlights being a debate I joined with the Manchester at MIPIM delegation where I took to the stage with Manchester City Council Chief Executive Sir Howard Bernstein, footballer-turned property developer Gary Neville and a few of the city’s other influencers to discuss our vision for Manchester in the next decade.

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One of the key talking points was the growth of the city’s population - with Sir Howard estimating a city population of 600,000 in the next ten years.

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That’s why we’re creating things like House at New Islington and Irwell Riverside, to ensure that there’s an option for the increasing number of people staying in Manchester city centre.

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…And why we’re creating the city’s biggest lateral lofts at Brownsfield Mill.

We also debated how improved facilities like more green space and schools will play an important role.We were part of the bid to bring the New Islington Free School to Manchester in 2012; it’s now a fully subscribed, OFSTED-outstanding institution and more like it will help keep people, especially families, in our urban environment.

Read the full MEN article on the debate here.

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At MIPIM, I also did two further modular housing talks on the London stand and the UK Government stand - you can read more about what was said in this piece by AJ.

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Filed under: Tom Bloxham MBE, Urban Splash, hoUSe No comments

Making a Splash in Yorkshire

March 20th, 2017 [ No comments ] [ Add comment ]
by Simon Gawthorpe

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I was delighted to read the Yorkshire Post’s verdict on our modular family housing concept, House and the possibility of us taking the concept to cities in the region.

The article came from an interview I gave with the newspaper, in which they referred to Urban Splash as “a small company with a big reputation for converting derelict and unloved buildings into the coolest places to live and work”.

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It’s something we’ve definitely done in Yorkshire where we’ve got developments like Park Hill in Sheffield, Lister Mills in Bradford - where we’ve just launched 15 brand new rental homes - and Saxton in Leeds.

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Bringing House into Yorkshire is definitely a possibility. The idea is we’ll work across the UK with local authorities and build on brownfield land to make it happen.

Read the full Yorkshire Post article here.

Filed under: Bradford, Leeds, Lister Mills, Park Hill, Saxton, Sheffield, Urban Splash, hoUSe No comments

Our award-winning hoUSe

February 4th, 2017 [ No comments ] [ Add comment ]
by Jonathan Falkingham MBE

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hoUSe has won its eleventh award; the North West Insider Residential development of the year; the  judges were “won over” by our “innovative and pioneering thinking”.

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hoUSe is pioneering; we launched the first 43 homes just under a year ago at New Islington in Manchester, all are sold, completed and fully occupied.

It’s great to see our modular family concept, which allows buyers to determine the layout and composition of their home across 1000 sq ft or 1500 sq ft of space, not only widely adopted by customers, but also by industry influencers too. Other awards won by hoUSe include three Structural Timber Awards, a Sunday Times British Homes Award - and of course, the prestigious Housing Design Award ; their team made this video of the scheme when they visited us last year.

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We’re now working hard to complete the next two hoUSe sites at Smith’s Dock in North Shields (homes there will be on sale in the spring) and Irwell Riverside in Manchester - where just a couple of the current hoUSes for sale remain.

Find out more by watching our hoUSe film.

Filed under: New Islington, Urban Splash, hoUSe No comments