Four-strong team will handle all construction work across 120ha Mayfair and Belgravia portfolio
Grosvenor Estates has set up a four-strong framework of contractors and consultants to save 10% on its £250m pipeline of London development over the next five years.
The appointees will perform all construction work on the 120ha Mayfair and Belgravia portfolio of the Duke of Westminster’s property group, comprising 400,000ft2 of commercial and 200,000ft2 of residential schemes.
Sir Robert McAlpine and Chorus are the contractors. The former will do the commercial work (seven projects at a development cost of £150m) and the latter residential (10-15 projects at a cost of £100m).
Built asset consultant EC Harris will act as cost consultant, and Ramboll will be the engineer. Grosvenor previously procured on a scheme-by-scheme basis.
Steve Brewer, director of project management for Grosvenor, said: “This is a unique proposition because there are not many other businesses with a critical mass of development opportunities. The construction market has gone through a tough time and bluntly we want to take advantage of that before costs rise.”
The move is part of the firm’s Fast Forward project, introduced by Peter Vernon, the UK and Ireland chief executive, to cut red tape and increase turnover.
Ian Morrison, London estate development director, said as well as cutting costs to 10% below market rates, Grosvenor wants a 10% reduction in delivery times.
He said: “Reducing base costs like time and labour is where we see the advantage. We want companies’ A-teams on jobs; this isn’t about squeezing their margins right down.”
Brewer said two or three project teams could work on a single site where several nearby jobs were running in parallel and overlaps in the subcontractor supply chains would be eliminated.
A steering group for the core product team will include Edward McAlpine from Sir Robert McAlpine and David Sparrow, global head of client solutions at EC Harris.
One of the first projects is a £40m, 85-bedroom boutique hotel in Mayfair (pictured). Chorus, which recently completed the Savoy refit, is the contractor.