Property Development

Who deals with this?

John Reeves FRICS Chair of The Helmsley Group
Max Reeves MRICS

What exactly is it we do?

We offer a simple proposition whereby we pull together like minded clients to enter into a partnership agreement based on a development proposal which we have identified and assessed in detail.

Each development is then managed by The Helmsley Group through to completion, with members having regular input at site meetings which are normally held on a monthly basis.

Members of each development have total discretion over how each project progresses. Most developments follow a defined path which is agreed at the outset of the project, but may vary depending on any planning, market forces etc.

The Helmsley Group’s role will vary depending on the individual development, but will be set out at the commencement of the development in a project co-ordination agreement. In summary, we will manage the scheme from start to finish:

  1. Initially carrying out appraisals and risk analysis, all of which are provided to members of each development and presented both in writing and at an initial pre-purchase meeting

  2. Organising planning permissions

  3. Managing contractors and 3rd parties throughout the design and build stage of development, including organising warranties, local authority liaison etc.

  4. Overseeing though to final sale.

On completion of the project, members benefit from a proportion of any profit which has been agreed at the outset and set out in the project co-ordination agreement.

The Helmsley Group will only develop in areas we know and understand well. Having been based around York for 30 years we are York focussed and stick to developing in Yorkshire.

Interested parties decide whether they wish to take part in an individual development based on information provided by The Helmsley Group once a project has been identified. Each project is treated individually with clients having ultimate control over the way a development progresses. The Helmsley Group have no discretion over client’s monies and so decisions are made only with the member’s approval only. Development projects are not run as a fund or pooled together in any way.

All developments are purchased without bank financing.

What have we done?

The Helmsley Group have built everything from industrial to offices, apartment blocks to one of a kind residential scheduled ancient monument conversions.

Our portfolio is extensive and includes some of the most iconic developments in the York area, some examples of notable schemes include:


Westgate, York:

114 apartment scheme, the largest in York

Sensitive development site on the river Ouse

Dixons YardDixons Yard, Walmgate, York:

50 apartment scheme

Overlooking the river Foss

MerchantsMerchants  Exchange, York:

24 apartment scheme with restaurant and office accommodation

River fronted site with significant archaeological and flooding challenges

DuncombeDuncombe Place, York:

High value residential scheme

Complex listed building issues to overcome

What are the returns?

These differ according to the nature of the development, we aim to secure clients a priority return of 25% before we share in the generated profits.

In general the more risk that can be removed from a scheme, the less the return. So a pre-let or pre-sold deal may generate lower returns but less risk, whereas a development with planning and sales risk may generate higher returns.

Each development is unique and tailored accordingly. Potential risks and returns are presented to members prior to purchase with no guarantee on returns.

What are the risks?

Property development carries with it risks. Examples include: planning risk, market circumstances changing during the development process, interest rates volatility, the list goes on.

We aim to minimise the risks with our teams many collective years of experience in development and by building only in areas we know and understand well. By creating joint ventures and allowing clients to spread their investment money over numerous schemes and by not utilising bank borrowing we help spread and reduce the risk further.

Our intention is to lay out as many of the potential downsides to members at day one as we can. It is plainly impossible to predict every scenario and so the high level of potential rewards reflects the higher levels of risk.

Property development is not for all and we strongly recommend anyone interested secures independent advice as to the suitability of such a route to enhance wealth.

Is it for me?

Some clients find development fun and enjoy being involved in projects which aim to improve a buildings or an area for the good. Some clients take part purely for the returns. All must be aware of the risk vs rewards and all should secure their own advice as to suitability before taking part.

What do Helmsley get for the work?

Each development varies. The Helmsley Group’s fee and profit share will be presented in a project management agreement and approved by members prior to any development commencing.

The structure of the scheme will normally follow along the lines of:

  1. Helmsley agents finder’s fee for introducing, analysing and setting up the project

  2. A fixed project management fee for day to day oversight of the scheme

  3. Priority return to clients paid before any profit share arrangement (generally 25%)

  4. Profit share between members and The Helmsley Group on any ‘super profit’ over and above the 25% priority return

“We provide our client base and potential investors with a range of opportunities that are always secured against land or property and have the potential to provide good levels of returns on a mid to long term basis.”