A Plot for Construction

A Plot for Construction

The Brief

  • A flat plot of 650 – 1,200 square metres for construction of a detached 4 bedroom property with pool
  • Preferred area Camp de Mar – Andratx in SW Mallorca
  • An investment project to be marketed & sold to the widest market

The Challenges

  • Location would be crucial as the property had to attract buyers in the future
  • To be the best available plot within the budget in terms of access, views, orientation & proximity to facilities
  • The search had to take into account that excavation can increase building cost significantly. Mac Insular has the monopoly for site clearance in Mallorca
  • The south west is the most sought after area, as it has all year round life & the best infrastructure, so prices are higher than other parts of the island
  • At the time, the majority of good plots had already been sold & the construction industry was relatively buoyant

The Search

Andrew Egginton is an experienced developer in Bristol, UK. His company specialises in the design and construction of high quality, executive-style homes.

This was to be his first development abroad & he was aware that the property development process in Mallorca is very different to UK. Our job was to introduce him to a selection of the various disciplines involved so that he could choose the team with whom he felt most comfortable – architect, technical architect, quantity surveyor & constructor.

In the initial stages, we set up a meeting with an independent, English speaking lawyer who would be able to help with company formation. He could also verify planning & building regulations with the urbanisme department of the local town hall for specific plots. When the decision had been made to engage the construction company, he would address any contractual issues including time frame, penalty clauses, guarantee & so on. We also introduced Andrew to various banks which were prepared to offer a construction mortgage.

It was apparent that this process would take considerable time & he would be travelling back & forth to Mallorca on a regular basis. Construction can take 18 months or more in Mallorca, due to local planning regulations which ban noisy work in the summer months. He therefore decided to bring his motor yacht from the UK to base it in a local marina. Not only could he enjoy it with his family, but he planned to stay aboard while overseeing the project instead of using local hotels.

We then began a parallel berth search, focusing on Puerto Portals. Not unlike a property search, we liaised with brokers as well as private sellers, looking at all available 12 metre berths in terms of ease of use, car access, distance from facilities, noise, exposure to weather, obstructions on the dock & neighbouring boats to recommend the best to buy. In Puerto Portals, owners had a concession at the time until 2032. The yacht would be hauled by road & launched in Port Leucate in France where we arranged for an experienced captain to accompany him on the trip to Puerto Portals.

Meanwhile, we sourced & viewed a number of plots, with & without existing licences but all with sea views. Camp de Mar threw up the possibility of a virtually flat site but it was discounted in favour of Puerto Andratx which is a primary location. However, it was evident that due to the geography of the coast any elevated plot would need a degree of excavation. We looked at both sides of the harbour, the pros & cons of southerly orientation versus proximity to harbourside facilities & restaurants.

It finally came down to 2 plots, one above the other, in a small, west facing urbanisation within walking distance to the port, both of which had already seen some excavation. The area also had all services including underground gas supply, unlike the majority of urbanisations in Andratx municipality whose owners would be facing substantial bills from the council for improvements in infrastructure.

The upper site of 660 square metres won as it had better views but also because it’s preferable on an incline to enter the property & descend through the building. This lends more privacy to the pool & garden as they are not directly above a road. It also had a wide frontage which always adds to kerb appeal. Neighbouring properties were all well maintained & noise limited to resident traffic just one road above the site.

The Result

We subsequently arranged topographic plans which showed the boundaries & features of the site while Andrew appointed an architect in Palma.

Once the architect’s drawings were finalised, an application was made for the construction licence. We introduced a local quantity surveyor who could explain the breakdown of materials & costings on the spanish build quotes. During construction we also helped with sourcing particular materials & were on hand for all manner of questions, from installation of a satellite TV system for the boat to organising a spanish mobile, recommending removals companies, glass specialists, reliable kitchen installers & other suppliers, as well as acting as keyholders.

Careful planning resulted in a very attractive, quality building which would appeal to a wide market. We were able to provide a buyer quickly once the villa was finished & before some agencies had taken photographs for its promotion.