Eric Grove’s Catesby Property Group is busy reducing its exposure to the drop in the residential property market. The company successfully divested itself of residential sites in Burton and Southport – getting in just before the downturn.
Catesby, with a mixed portfolio of 12,000 or so plots of residential, commercial and mixed use land, continues to make a success of things. Latest profits showed a 70 per cent upturn, and shareholder funds rose from £8 million to £14.8 million
A big boost to Catesby’s fortunes is Firstpoint – a £200 million business and retail park near the M18 in Doncaster.
Firstpoint, being developed in partnership with Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council and Yorkshire Forward, is also the new home of Doncaster Chamber and Business Link. Catesby has sold three large distribution warehouses on the site to Standard Life.
Firstpoint’s development and rapid big-name letting will give Eric Grove, who founded Stratford and London-based Catesby in 1996, a lot of pleasure. At 78 he still takes a keen interest in the development of the company. Catesby has become a specialist in developing brownfield sites and has established an £80 million joint venture with Bank of Scotland to tackle brownfield sites in London and the south east.
The company has just tranformed a car breaker’s yard near Harpenden into a model commuter village, complete with manor house, detached homes, apartments, a village green and a duck pond.
Another major project for Catesby has been the development of a two-unit £8 million distribution complex near Fort Dunlop in Castle Bromwich.
Catesby broke records by paying £500,000 an acre for the site when named as preferred bidder by Advantage West Midlands.
Eric Grove made his fortune after setting up a residential property business – Canberra Developments – in 1968. He sold out to housebuilder McAlpine, netting around £40 million in shares.
A former director of Coventry City FC, he now lives in Warwickshire.
His other business interests include residential developments in Jersey and a stake in a property investment company.