As I am always open to hearing how people in my property network are getting on with their projects, I was pleased to see the results of the recent Property Investor Awards* and that Sanjay and Malkit of Savoys Properties were voted Commercial Property Investors of the Year.
Regular readers will be aware that we had featured them here in PIN in mid-2019 and talked about their HMO project in West Drayton, Middlesex but since then it seems this dynamic duo have really taken their property ventures to another level. As such, and being curious to learn more, I met with them at their award-winning commercial conversion project in Burnham, Bucks to discover what they have been doing in the last few years.
As Malkit explains, they are not novices in property but have been working on their portfolio for many years. “We’ve been in property for 20 years and have been doing conversions and smaller developments for around ten years. This project here, which is the one we entered for the Award win, was previously an office and we have now converted it to ten residential flats. It had been vacant for around five years and we purchased it two years ago. It’s the largest one we have done to date, as previously we typically did conversions into four to six flats.”
It’s probably not that easy to find a property developer or portfolio landlord who has not experienced a more challenging year than 2020, with Covid affecting many businesses, so I ask what they had experienced at this project.
“Planning” was the instant reply from both Malkit and Sanjay. “The local council don’t like losing office spaces and although we had permitted development rights they objected to the external changes we proposed. Initially we applied to do just five flats, then for eight and then for the ten we have now just completed. ”
Many readers would find that a somewhat ironic stance taken by the local council given that the units were empty for five years but Sanjay explained more as to how they had maximized the potential within the building.