At Mackenzie Smith we have the privilege of dealing with many new developments and watching them unfold. It was has been an immense pleasure to witness the recent redevelopment of The Convent in Farnborough from offices, to a luxurious apartment building. With the final apartments being released and the work within the last and most prestigious Chapel apartment progressing, we thought it time to ask Michael Arnold from JIT, the developers working on the project, for his thoughts on the whole experience.
“Property development for us is a passion and we are in the fortunate position to be very selective in the projects we undertake. It is true that our primary objective has to be making a living at what we do, but with this we are also privileged to be able to contribute to a built environment that will last for generations to come.
When we first viewed The Convent in Farnborough we were addicted to the substance and heritage of this amazing Victorian building and immediately knew that we wanted to give a sustainable future to the building. So the journey began and as we had a track record of restoring historic buildings, gaining achievement awards along the way, we became the vendors’ favoured bidder and in just a matter of days we found ourselves the new owners of one of the few buildings of historic interest in Farnborough.
Over the following two years we used all of our experience and ingenuity to convert this majestic building into 14 apartments, each with its own individuality and character. Our challenge as always has been to blend our enthusiasm to create something very different within the inherent construction regulations and of course the aspirations of our future buyers.
As we reached our first launch date last year, we worried about how our very different and upmarket approach to local apartments would be received but we very soon learned that there was huge demand for our properties and that our first purchasers would quickly become our strongest advocates.
Now, as we approach our final release we are proud to be launching three of the remaining apartments. Each one is individual and has been the subject of many hours of debate between us as we strive to create the best possible living spaces within the confines of the existing architecture. We have continued to refine our specifications, maintained our attention to detail and feel very confident that our new purchasers will appreciate their new homes.
Of course it has taken a year longer than we had anticipated and we have had challenges all along this amazing journey. But as we start to come to the end of this project we know that we will complete The Convent leaving it as a local landmark with a sustainable future and contented residents. For us now, we just need to find another convent to develop, so the search is on”.
Michael Arnold, a director of JIT Farnborough Limited.