Three former Arcadis partners have launched a new consultancy focusing on specialist residential-led markets.
Mark Farmer, Joe Thornton and Neil Brearley have left the consultancy to set up Cast, which will work with investors and developers in the build-to-rent, student accommodation and senior living sectors as well as the high-end London market.
“These are bits of the residential market that have more opportunity,” Cast chief executive Mark Farmer told Construction News. “With investment-led residential in particular, [there are] opportunities to innovate around different ways the market might deliver product.”
Mr Farmer said recent government housing policy, including mortgage interest tax relief and the proposed raising of stamp duty changes for buy-to-let landlords, would change the rental landscape in the UK.
“The government’s not necessarily going out of its way to incentivise the larger institutional landlords, but I think that will happen by default as smaller landlords [are pushed out of PRS] and that’s what we want to be a part of.”
The new company has 15 staff and is targeting a turnover of £10m in the medium term.
“We’re not looking to be some massive new company; this is about sustainable business that is growing around long-term private relationships and around [our] particular expertise,” Mr Farmer said.
Based in London, Cast is aiming to work with a select group of tier one investor/developer clients that operate in the UK. This will include PRS specialist Essential Living and another unannounced new entrant in the senior living sector.
“We want to work with fewer clients that are building multiple projects, so it’s less about the amount of clients and more about the investment/programmes of work that they are looking to deliver.”
Mr Farmer said Cast and Arcadis could work together, with the latter potentially helping the team with support outside of London.