While the phenomenon of downward extensions in London, by excavating basements, has attracted much publicity in recent years, upward extensions remain the more feasible and cost-effect option for many property owners, especially with the growth of modular factory-made buildings that can be craned into place to provide new housing on top of existing properties.
To get into this market, the High Street Group of Companies has bought a business that specialises in creating London penthouses.
First Penthouse, established in 1994 and based in Knightsbridge, has recently completed several rooftop extensions, creating new homes on top of existing buildings in Chelsea, Knightsbridge and St John’s Wood. It is currently working on a further nine projects across the capital, with a gross development value (GDV) of more than £120m.
High Street Group chairman Gary Forrest said: “A couple of years ago, the government welcomed a proposal to help address the housing shortage in London through the development of modular homes on top of existing buildings. We believe there is a huge potential in this innovative idea and have researched potential sites, as well as the associated considerations of planning, design, sustainability and construction.
“What we lacked was the expertise to deliver projects and that is why we have acquired First Penthouse. The deal adds people with practical and successful experience of rooftop development to our team, which will, I am sure, significantly accelerate our involvement in this market place.”
First Penthouse managing director Patrick Brightman added: “We are delighted to have been identified by High Street Group, who appreciate our level of technical expertise and knowledge in the rooftop development space.
“With the benefit of the group’s support and investment, we can exploit many more opportunities across London and further afield and can accelerate the number of developments we undertake, as well as our aspiration to build our own offsite modular construction company.”