One-on-one interview: James Saunders of Quintain

Posted 29 January 2015

James Saunders, COO of Quintain’s Wembley Park development, takes time out of his busy schedule to talk to Marc da Silva about his firm’s latest development, as part of our ongoing series of interviews with senior figures from the UK’s property industry.

Quintain recently completed the first chapter of Wembley Park’s transformation, could you please tell us about the scheme? The unique feature of Wembley Park compared with new developments right across London is that we have already created a superb range of shops, restaurants, coffee shops and open green spaces to ensure this is a really great place to live from day one. The area also now has a nine-screen cinema, a play park, gym and public library.

We’ve not only invested in the wider area for over ten years, but will continue to own, manage and invest in Wembley Park for many years to come. This area is right at the heart of Quintain’s business, so making sure Wembley Park remains a great place to live is fundamental to our future success.

What’s next in the development pipeline? As well as completing 475 new homes next year, we’re really excited about both the innovative new theatre that will open here in 2016 and also about work beginning on the beautiful two-acre square that will sit at the heart of North West Village.

How many properties will North West Village at Wembley Park eventually feature? North West Village at Wembley Park will feature around 1,300 apartments when it’s complete, as well as its own large square, local shops and open spaces.

What types of properties is your firm developing? We are developing contemporary studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom London apartments in collaboration with top architects and interior designers. As well as the homes themselves, we are also committed to providing substantial amounts of green space, as well as attractive resident facilities like a private screening room and a gym.

How much does a new home in the North West Village at Wembley Park development start from? Depending on the size and location of the apartment, prices in the first phase – Emerald Gardens – range from £295,000 to £650,000. The marketing suite for this phase opens on 29 January, so now is a great time to register your interest via the North West Village website or book an appointment.

Why should more property buyers consider buying into North West Village at Wembley Park? Wembley is an already-thriving neighbourhood and its rich history is likely to appeal to many buyers. Often off-plan buyers are sold the ‘dream’ of what an area will be like in five or ten years’ time, but Wembley Park is already a vibrant and established place to live with some truly unique facilities on its doorstep.

The apartments we are bringing to market have flexible living space and we believe they combine the highest design quality with value for money in a competitive market. 

The area is also very well connected to London, and beyond. Tube and overground train lines provide outstanding services to the West End in just 20 minutes, Kings Cross St. Pancras in 19 minutes and Canary Wharf in 32 minutes.

What are housing market conditions currently like in and around Wembley? North West London has seen strong growth over the last few years, with the London Borough of Brent registering double digit growth in the 12 months to August 2014. Wembley Park is well connected through both public transport and the national road network, therefore it’s attracted a great deal of interest from those who’re looking for a solid investment as well as a great place to live.

Is it worth buying property during the off-plan stage of construction? As competition in the London market remains fierce, buying off-plan can be a useful way of getting ahead of the competition. All apartments in North West Village have a 10-year NHBC warranty, which gives buyers peace of mind in the first years of their ownership. A guarantee like this simply doesn’t exist on ‘second-hand’, older properties.

Our on-site selling agents, Savills, are on hand with a range of brochures, CGI imagery and interactive models to help buyers get a better sense of the finer details of each property. We have two fully equipped show apartments in the marketing suite which showcase the space and high-quality specification on offer.

Wembley Park also offers a range of bespoke management services to buy-to-let investors, including the ability to source high-quality tenants, which is another benefit of buying in this specific development.

What is Quintain’s USP? Quintain has been investing in the transformation of Wembley Park for a decade and we are really proud of what’s already been created here. We’ve worked to ensure it is a beautiful, vibrant and welcoming environment that holds real surprises for people who haven’t visited the area in recent years.

Some housebuilders can be guilty of building flats and then leaving an area to fend for itself. As we operate and manage the development on an ongoing and long-term basis, we pay attention to every detail and therefore have a vested interest in maintaining the highest standards in the area. We believe this commitment to making sure Wembley Park thrives for generations really makes us stand out from the pack.

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