Sons & Co CEO Alex Stocker Talks About Finding Undiscovered Luxury Hotspots In London
While conventional wisdom says London's luxury residential property is faltering, Sons & Co CEO Alex Stocker disagrees, and says his properties are selling perfectly well. The briskness of sales is partly due to a strengthening dollar versus the pound, but also has a lot to do with the fact London is still the go-to location for investors looking for high-quality and unique property.
Customers cooled off for a bit after the Brexit referendum, Alex says. (He's shown in the centre with his two co-founders.) However, investors and developers came back in strength at the beginning of September. Sons & Co’s newest development, VI Castle Lane, is a seven-storey 31-unit luxury development, comprised of townhouses and apartments. The site is in Victoria’s historic Birdcage Walk Conservation Area—less than half a mile from Buckingham Palace, the Royal Mews and St. James’s Park.
The development (shown) is halfway to completion, Alex tells us. The concrete frame will be complete by the end of the month, on schedule and budget. Alex is flying to Italy in the next few weeks to personally source the marble and stone. “As you would expect from one of our projects, everything is bespoke,” he says.
And the buyers have come. 12 of the units have been sold, Alex says, and that is before any major marketing. He tells us the company intends to launch select units to the market in the next week or so.
Sons & Co has a knack for finding truly extraordinary locations in London—tiny hidden streets right in the middle of everything. One of its newly launched projects is Pinks Mews, which is marketed to lawyers. The hoardings are up on-site, and Alex expects a very busy period leading to Christmas.
Alex says any development he embarks on must be special. “Whether it’s a great location, fantastic space, glorious light or even just architecturally interesting—ideally, it should be all four.”
“We don’t do ordinary,” Alex says. “We don’t do standard. There are others out there who are far better at that sort of stuff than we are.”
VI Castle Lane is in a prime location for buyers who want to secure a foothold in Victoria before the large planned developments push up prices. Land Securities’ Nova development—due to complete at the start of 2017—is a mixed-use scheme that will bring 897k SF of office, retail, restaurant and residential space opposite Victoria Station and a few minutes from Castle Lane. In addition, new developments are springing up within the Birdcage Walk Conservation Area, which will likely place further upward pressure on prices in the historic zone.