Principle to look after Birmingham construction firm’s property developments

A Birmingham construction firm has appointed Principle Estate Management to look after two of its local property developments.

This includes Button Box, a mixed-use development of 30 units built in 2006 on Warstone Lane in the Jewellery Quarter, with retail premises on the ground floor, offices above and apartments to the rear.

The second development is a gated site of ten units called Hawthorn Drive, in Selly Oak, constructed in 2004.

Peter Jennings Ltd, a second-generation construction business in Kings Heath now run by brothers Mark and Andrew, built both developments and retained the freehold once individual units were sold off on long leases.

Mark Jennings said: “We retained one of the first-floor offices at Button Box for our own use, so not only are we the original developer and freeholder, but we are also an occupier.

“We wanted the property maintained to higher standards, so it was time for a change and we are confident that Principle will make the difference.”

Speaking about Hawthorn Drive, Andrew Jennings said: “We’d used a local letting agent to look after the development as all but one of the units are rented out.

“But some maintenance issues required statutory consultation before works and this wasn’t a job for the letting agent who was happy to have this transferred to a specialist. It made sense to have both properties managed by Principle.”

Brett Williams, managing director at Principle, said: “Button Box is an attractive building and one we’re proud to be associated with.

“Mixed use buildings require a specialist management approach to ensure the needs of all users are catered for and properly balanced.

“The first thing we did was instruct a contractor to repair the sign over the entrance where two letters had slipped – it’s the simple things that are noticed if not undertaken. We’ve also tendered the cleaning and external area maintenance as these need to be of a higher standard.

“At Hawthorn Drive, the handover from the previous agent was exemplary. They’ve done a good job of looking after the development and continue to let and manage a number of individual apartments.

“There was an issue requiring major works, so we worked with the previous agent to issue statutory consultation notices advising owners of the planned works before our management began. We were happy to do this as we aim to build long term relationships with clients and customers.

“There was a problem of funding, a specialist area to ensure invoicing complies with the legislation and then a rigorous credit control process is followed. We are now about to place the order for the works.”