Essex Chronicle, Press release


NEW APARTMENTS: Take a look inside the stylish show apartment at Essex Riverside STYLISH: First show apartment is now open for viewings at Century Tower, Essex Riverside Photos: courtesy of Chris Rushton - Essex Chronicle Apartments near completion at £85m scheme VIEW: Read more

Enterprise zones don’t have to be a 1980s rerun, says Steven Byrne


28 April 2011 | By Steven Byrne MAN IN THE MIDLANDS I’m amazed the response has been so muted. We should be acting as cheerleaders for the initiative and praise what is a bold step forward – and then sit down Read more

Go For Green


Jun 24 2008 By Andrew Cowen Published in the Birmingham Post These are interesting times to be working in the building development business. With the green agenda at the heart of society, sustainability is driving all new projects. Nowhere is this more Read more

MCD bats off rioters


19 August 2011 All the team at MCD Developments wanted last Tuesday was to drink champagne, enjoy the Lord’s Taverners pre-test dinner, and celebrate the launch of their £32m West Stand at Edgbaston for Warwickshire County Cricket Club But before they Read more

Birmingham’s rough diamond


By Sean McAllister, 3rd November 2006 Sean McAllister reviews new development in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter It may be a cliche, but the Jewellery Quarter really is Birmingham’s hidden treasure. A conservation area covering 265 acres (107 ha) with a 250-year history and Read more

Enterprise zones don’t have to be a 1980s rerun, says Steven Byrne

Blog, Press Releases Leave a comment

28 April 2011 | By Steven Byrne

MAN IN THE MIDLANDS

Steven Byrne - Managing Director MCD

I’m amazed the response has been so muted. We should be acting as cheerleaders for the initiative and praise what is a bold step forward – and then sit down with the government to help make sure it gets the detail right.

If lessons are learned – and I am optimistic they will be – there is no reason why enterprise zones should not make a significant contribution to economic growth.

There are probably three key considerations:

Pick the right areas and focus Choose sites with potential, not necessarily the most deprived and difficult to develop. No sensible business will want to locate somewhere with no compelling economic logic or potential business advantage.

For example, a prime candidate would be the Digbeth area. It is close enough to the services and infrastructure of Birmingham city centre, and has a compelling economic case for firms to locate there.

Alternatively, the M42 corridor south of Birmingham has national connectivity. Do not neglect the infrastructure links Superfast broadband connectivity is excellent. But, linking the enterprise zone into the wider locality and national community is crucial to avoid creating a stranglehold on the enterprise zone itself.

London’s Docklands, which is often held up as a shining example of what an enterprise zone can achieve, had several false dawns and ultimately required vastly improved infrastructure to link it to the city.

Be wary about displacement effects A lot of comment has focused on whether zones simply move economic activity and jobs around, rather than stimulate new growth. Tax breaks also need to be passed through to the company, rather than “creamed off” by the property owner in the form of higher rents.

In the past, it was not unknown for landlords to set rents at a level just below the combined rent and rate figure for comparable premises outside the zone. This is not a 1980s revival show.

It should be seen as an exciting new opportunity, and we should all get behind the plans for enterprise zones and make them work.

Steven Byrne is chief executive of Birmingham-based MCD Developments

This article was published in propertyweek.com

 


Go For Green

Blog, Press Releases Leave a comment

Jun 24 2008 By Andrew Cowen

Published in the Birmingham Post

These are interesting times to be working in the building development business. With the green agenda at the heart of society, sustainability is driving all new projects.

Nowhere is this more keenly felt than in the urban regeneration field and, in Birmingham, it’s big news.

City living is a well-established concept and the idea has come a long way since its early days around the canal basin.

New legislation states that homes must be carbon zero by the year 2016, although some forward-thinking companies are well ahead of that deadline.

Go For Green

The key-word is sustainability, although this concept is huge and works on many levels. It’s a holistic approach to development but, being in such a competitive industry, it also has to be, first and formost, profitable.

To achieve this, developers must incorporate many aspects from the very inception of a project and careful planning is vital if targets are to be met.

Steven Byrne is chief executive of MCD Developments, one of the leading companies operating in the urban regeneration field.

MCD is behind some of the Midlands’ most striking projects, including Brindley House, Derwent Foundry and Water Street in Birmingham, and Earlsdon Park in Coventry.

The company also is spearheading the rebirth of Essex County Cricket Ground in Chelmsford.

Steven admits there’s no easy definition of sustainability as, by its very nature, it’s a site-specific concept, although certain principles are common with all projects.

“It’s always the first consideration when you start a project,” he says.

“There are things we always take into account when tackling sustainability. Any project must be judged in terms of its longevity and the affects on the local community, for example.

“We always look at the life cycle of a building and its impact on a wider level, internationally and globally. This means thinking about where you source your materials, making sure they can be replenished locally so that the distance they are transported is as small as possible.

“We consider longevity and whether the building is fit for purpose for its life-cycle. Maintenance and repair are also vital.

“There is no quick fix and, in this business, you really do reap what you sow.”

For MCD who specialise in big schemes, this means thinking big. For example, work is now underway on the £110 million redevelopment of the former City College Site at the Butts in Coventry.

The finished article will provide 500 apartments, commercial space, leisure facilities and cafe bars.

How sensitive approach to regeneration brings benefits for whole townFrom page 35

In a major coup for Coventry, the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority will relocate from London to move into the development, creating 500 new jobs.

This is a perfect example of sustainability on a human scale.

The former college building dates back to 1935. In order to further nest the development in its location, MCD is also restoring the 650-seat art deco Butts Theatre and creating a piazza around it.

The project has been awarded a Breeam excellent rating of 78 per cent. This qualification marks a building on several green criteria, including energy efficiency and accessibility by public transport.

“Everything we do is bespoke and we always push our own boundaries in order to innovate,” explains Mr Byrne.

Another MCD project is the redevelopment of Riverside Square in Bedford, a typically ambitious scheme that bears all the trademarks of the company.

Like many of MCD’s developments, Riverside Square is close to water but also in the heart of the town centre.

It will include 149 residential apartments and 25,000 sq ft of retail space on the ground floor.

A pedestrian bridge will improve access to the town centre, a benefit for the whole of Bedford. It’s also just five-minute walk from the main railway station.

“This is an iconic potentially multi-award-winning project and shows how sensitive regeneration can bring benefits for the whole town,” says Mr Byrne.

“For me, it represents Bedford’s battle against Milton Keynes.”

Mr Byrne is a strong believer in the concept of city living but he’s adamant that a development has to be done properly in order to achieve.

“Like anywhere else, there has to be a sense of community,” he explains.

“You have neighbours and these have to be a consideration. City living will work as long as people want to live in a close community.

“This does not necessarily mean only suitable for the young – many of our buyers are retired. It means you have to be there rather than in a rural idyll.

“It’s not for everybody and probably suits young people better.”

Of course, the concept of city living is not a new one. As the old back-to-backs in Birmingham prove, many used to live and work in the city.

“What happened in many areas is that the bombing of our cities in the Second World War destroyed so much and when it came to rebuilding we didn’t put the residential element back in,” explains Mr Byrne.

“That’s changing now but there’s still a lot of work to be done. The infrastructure needs to be enhanced with things like street markets, pharmacies and starter units of good quality.

“One of the most important things we do and something that is not always easy to get right, is to create a community where there wasn’t previously one.

“As long as you get that right, you are creating sustainability.

“If you create a sense of belonging, you create a sense of pride and that is contagious. You can do all the analysis you want, but if you don’t achieve this, you’ve failed.”


MCD bats off rioters

Blog, Press Releases Leave a comment

19 August 2011

All the team at MCD Developments wanted last Tuesday was to drink champagne, enjoy the Lord’s Taverners pre-test dinner, and celebrate the launch of their £32m West Stand at Edgbaston for Warwickshire County Cricket Club

But before they prepared to tuck into an Indian supper, the developer had to tackle to rioters armed with baseball, rather than cricket bats. Advisers had recommended MCD’s plush offices in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter be protected against rioters, who swept through Brum’s streets on 9 August.

Steel doors and security guards were put in place and, luckily for MCD, it was the Indian cricket team that was smashed to pieces, not its Birmingham portfolio.

This article was published in propertyweek.com


First residents to live on the Horizon

Blog Leave a comment

Horizon, the first phase of Cabot Circus Living has welcomed the first residents to this exclusive address in the heart of the city, with a number of the new apartments now occupied.
Award winning regeneration specialists, MCD opened the doors to the new residents after completing the first stage of the development in late September.
The second stage of Horizon is now on the market and is due to be finished before Christmas, along with the ‘garden in the sky,’ main entrance and concierge area.

Apartment owner, Alan Beaney, who works as an investment manager in Bristol, purchased one of the apartments as a second home to avoid the daily commute from his family residence in London.

Mr Beaney, 52, said: “I was attracted to Horizon because of its convenient location for work and the motorway, providing a quick and easy getaway on a Friday night.
“Seeing the apartments for the first time clinched the deal. The development offers good security and the specification of the fixtures and fittings is far higher than anything else I had viewed in the city.”

“It’s great to have moved in and put an end to the commute, instead of having a tiring journey at the end of a long day I can now take a short walk to a home with everything I could need practically on my doorstep.”

Fifty percent of the apartments, across both stages of Horizon have now been sold.

Rodger Shipway, sales and marketing manager for MCD, said: “It’s been great to welcome the new residents to Horizon. It’s rewarding to see the buildings come to life with occupiers enjoying their new homes as we near completion of this phase of the development . By Christmas, Horizon will be complete and we’ll be able to show potential buyers the finished product, demonstrating that this really is city living at its best.”

Prices start at £174,500 for a one-bed, £219,500 for a two-bed and £239,500 for the penthouse apartments.
The show home at Horizon is open seven days a week, Monday – Saturday 10.30 – 5pm, Sunday 11 – 4pm. For more information home hunters can visit www.cabotcircusliving.com or call the sole selling agent Andrews at Cabot Circus Living on (0117) 929 7814.


City Living for Spanish Couple

Blog Leave a comment

It might not have quite the same climate or number of tapas bars, but Bristol’s cosmopolitan offering so impressed one Spanish couple that they’ve moved to their ‘dream apartment’ in the city.
Araceli Martin and Miguel Serna moved from the Canary Islands this summer to be nearer their daughter, who is studying in Bristol.

The couple, who have chosen the Horizon development, in Cabot Circus, say that they have found their ‘dream apartment’.
Araceli Martin and Miguel Serna

Araceli said: “We chose Bristol as our daughter is studying here and we also really like the city.
“We fell in love with the Horizon development immediately and really believe we have found our dream apartment! We have a very spacious two bedroom and two bathroom apartment and although we are right in the middle of the city, it is very quiet and peaceful. We also have fantastic views across the city as well as the beautiful communal gardens.”

Miguel said: “From our apartment we can do anything and go anywhere. We are right at the heart of Cabot Circus, and walking distance from public transport, including the train station.
“We hope to stay in Bristol for many years. Everyone is so friendly, we feel very much at home here.”

MCD Developments, who is responsible for the Horizon development, say that demand for city centre property continues to be high, as purchasers focus on city living to maintain the perfect work/life balance.

MCD has announced that there are now only 18 units left at the popular Horizon development, suggesting that city living is top of the agenda for many.

Rodger Shipway, sales and marketing manager of MCD Developments, said: ‘Bristol has long been recognised as an exciting, cosmopolitan centre. The redeveloped Cabot Circus has only helped to raise the profile of the main shopping area with the introduction of leading retail brands like Harvey Nichols, the Apple Store and Fred Perry, and a whole range of bars and eateries including Brasserie Blanc.

‘Horizon is only an elevator ride from all the action and is therefore the ideal place for city living. Only a stroll from the office, theatre or the university it is hard to imagine a more central location. Whether they are working in Bristol or commuting out, Horizon offers residents the lifestyle of a high quality, stylish apartment all within reach of everything.’

Prices for the last remaining apartments start at £174,500 for a one bedroom apartment, to £449,950 for a three bedroom penthouse.

For more information on MCD Developments and Horizon please visit www.mcdproperty.com

or call the sole selling agent Andrews at Cabot Circus Living on (0117) 929 7814.


MCD Awards
Award Icon

Green Apple Built Environment and Architectural Heritage

Award Icon

King Edwards Award

  • 2006
Award Icon

Islington Gates

  • 2006
Award Icon

St Martins Gate

  • 2007
Award Icon

Brindley House

  • 2007
Award Icon

Derwent Foundry

  • 2007
Award Icon

West Midlands Insider Property Awards – Regeneration Project of the year

  • 2005
Award Icon

West Midlands Insider Property Awards – Creative Land Development Award

  • 2002
Award Icon

Birmingham Post and Mail House Design Awards

  • 2001
  • 2003
  • 2005
Award Icon

What House? Awards – Best Brownfield Development Bronze Award

  • 2001
Award Icon

REGENWM Vision for Placemaking – Highly commended for Brindley House

  • 2007
×