As part of a drive to break into the development of rooftop homes, The High Street Group of Companies has bought a business which specialises in creating London penthouses.

The multi million pound deal delivers instant, award winning* expertise to the rapidly expanding, Newcastle based property specialist.

First Penthouse, established in 1994 and based in Knightsbridge, has recently completed several prestigious rooftop extensions, creating luxury homes on top of existing buildings in areas such as Chelsea, Knightsbridge and St. John’s Wood.

It is currently working to secure and deliver a further nine projects across the capital, with a gross development value (GDV) of over £120 million.

Analysis of the housing market in London suggests over 50,000 new homes are needed annually to meet demand.  A study by Interdisciplinary Design Consultancy HTA LLP identified that in the Borough of Camden alone, there are 475 potential rooftop sites, which could deliver 2,485 homes.

Across Greater London it identified over 14 million square feet of developable roof space, which could deliver almost 180,000 properties.  A Knight Frank report suggest that there is over £50 billion worth of rooftop development potential in the capital.

Commenting on the First Penthouse acquisition, 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.”

Patrick Brightman, Managing Director with First Penthouse, 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.”

With its headquarters in Stockbridge House, Newcastle, The High Street Group of Companies was established by Gary Forrest in 2006.  It is now a leading financial and property group employing around 350 people in activities including large scale property development and construction, hospitality and leisure.

One of its divisions, High Street Residential, is already working on a portfolio of over 3,000 buy to rent apartments in some of the UK’s major cities.

Initiatives in Birmingham (four), Gateshead, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Newcastle (two), Salford and Warrington are either under construction, ready to start or going through the planning process.  And more are being investigated, taking the business’ private rented sector (PRS) portfolio beyond the £1.1 billion mark.

In addition to its PRS activity, it currently has a £60 million new homes business – All Saints Living – and operates five hotels and 15 bars/restaurants – through High Street Hospitality.

Based on these assets, current and planned projects, together with secured investor funding, the group was recently valued at £1.2 billion by ACF Investment Bank.  The target for 2022 is £3 billion.

*Picture caption:  A penthouse rooftop extension in Knightsbridge.*