Q & A with developer Andrew Larkin

22nd October 2018

Tell us the background to Drewin – how and why it started:

Drewin is an innovative and sustainable development company based in London offering design-led, contemporary properties for the latest generation of home buyers. We present potential opportunities with a project appraisal and work alongside our experienced team of professionals to deliver an appropriate company structure that will deliver security, exit strategy and strong net returns.

It is run by my father and I. My father has worked for over 20 years in property development in London and I have done a number of projects, having previously worked in the city. I felt that carrying on the family business whilst having the opportunity to work for myself was an important career step, plus property is definitely in the blood.

What are you currently working on:

We are currently working on a number of small residential schemes including six flats and an office in a private gated development in Crystal Palace and we are trying to achieve planning on a piece of land in a conservation area in Sydenham where we are hoping to achieve nine large luxury flats. We also have schemes in Brixton and Sutton too so it is exciting times.

What has been your most exciting project to date:

That’s a tough question as we enjoy different projects for varying reasons, such as build complexity, design and a property’s uniqueness. From a build perspective, we recently did a large basement excavation and we had to underpin the two properties next door, which was fascinating although nerve wracking. Our scheme in Crystal Palace will be stunning from a design standpoint and it is also situated within its own private woodland which is beautiful and a real luxury in zone 3. In terms of uniqueness, we converted a carpenter’s warehouse in Honor Oak into a very large family house, and this was definitely one that I thought ‘wow, I’d love to live here!’

What is the best thing about basing your business at Build Studios:

The location was the initial reason for me when I was looking at Build Studios, but I really like the fact it is industry specific as I have picked up some good contacts and knowledge sharing can never hurt. The office is spacious and they haven’t tried to ram desks in which is a positive for a co-working space. The people also make it a sociable office if you want it to be, whilst it can also be a good quiet space if you need to knuckle down.

What do you think is the most significant challenge facing today’s built environment sector:

Brexit… Who wouldn’t say this right now!? Ultimately the cost of materials and labour is rising and property prices have dropped off slightly in areas we are developing. Planning is also a significant risk because of the cuts to Local Government, as they cannot meet their deadlines for looking at applications.