Property developer Maximus is beginning the new year with a wealth of projects across the region, including an innovative care village at Shrewsbury.
Spearheading the Worcester-based company's programme is the £9 million development of Quartz Point, an office development adjoining Junction 6 of the M42 close to the National Exhibition Centre, Solihull, which will provide 12 buildings between 2,500 sq ft and 6,000 sq ft.
Maximus is project managing the site, which has been sold into a newly-formed SPV funded by SPREFS (Strutt & Parker Real Estate Financial Services).
Work has just begun on the 32,786 sq ft project which will be completed in the summer and help to satisfy the demand for small offices in the Solihull area.
The other major project planned for 2008 is the creation of an all-encompassing care village of some 250 homes for the elderly on the edge of Shrewsbury.
Maximus says it will offer a double benefit to the community by providing a range of housing, both sheltered and non-sheltered, for the ageing population, together with facilities such as a restaurant, hairdressers and a doctor's surgery, plus releasing existing homes back into the housing stock helping to satisfy local demand.
Paul Jones, Maximus managing director, said: "Quartz Point is a strategic location and is an appropriate landmark scheme with which to start a new year that heralds a busy and opportunistic time for us. The care village project is a new concept and there are only about half a dozen dotted around the UK."
He added: "Despite 2007 being a difficult year in the property market, we have enjoyed an incredible amount of success. We are well placed to capitalise on buying opportunities which we anticipate will be available during the early part of 2008."
Another development lined up for next year is a 230-acre mixed use project at Clay Cross, Derbyshire, where up to 800 homes are planned, and an early start is anticipated on Topaz, a 12-acre business park development at Junction 1, M42, Bromsgrove, where planning consent for up to 45,000 sq ft of space is awaited. Pre-let interest is very strong.
Maximus last yearachieved some notable success in Birmingham's prime business quarter, including the refurbishment of 85-89 Col-more Row and letting the fifth and first floors at £25 and £29 per sq ft respectively.
The company also acquired The Exchange building in Newhall Street.
Another significant achievement was the completion in the summer of the 40,000 sq ft Wildwood Triangle speculative office development at Worcester, which is now 60 per cent occupied and with strong interest in the remaining available space.
Wildwood was the only office scheme in Worcestershire to achieve lettings last year.
Looking ahead to 2008, Mr Jones said: "Early indications are that property prices have drifted out and now there is a positive cashflow gap between property returns and borrowing costs.
"Until recently there has been too much money chasing too few opportunities but now a number of retail funds are having to sell certain assets as investors are looking to withdraw from the market."
Maximus is planning to target higher yielding active management opportunities where there is a pro-active requirement for refurbishment and re-configuration.