Commercial Development

Taurus Developments specialises in commercial property development with a focus on the industrial, warehouse and office sectors and predominantly in the southern part of the UK.

Taurus’ expertise and experience spans all elements of the development process from inception to completion.

Founder and Managing Director, Michael Gibbens, has undertaken commercial property development since 1999 when he joined Land Securities plc and has a demonstrable track record in the successful delivery of speculative and pre-let schemes totalling in excess of 2 million sq ft.

Taurus’ current commercial developments include Velocity, Havant (105,500 sq ft) being undertaken in partnership with LaSalle Investment Management, Haverhill Business Park, Suffolk (495,000 sq ft) being undertaken in partnership with Hammond Rutts Investments Limited and Genesis, Basildon (95,500 sq ft) also being undertaken in partnership with LaSalle Investment Management.

Taurus also undertakes refurbishment of existing commercial buildings where complete redevelopment is not economic and value can be extracted through wholesale or partial refurbishment. Acting on behalf of University College of Estate Management (UCEM), Taurus managed the acquisition and wholesale refurbishment of 60 Queens Road, Reading, a 1980’s office building totalling 23,000 sq ft, which became the new HQ for UCEM in July 2016.

Development Acquisition

Taurus’ key strengths are the identification of suitable development opportunities, a detailed initial appraisal of bespoke market fundamentals and financial viability of each opportunity and the selection of a suitable development funding partner will then work in partnership with Taurus to acquire and develop the particular opportunity.

Taurus has long-standing relationships with agents in London and local markets ensuring that opportunities, both on and off- market, are introduced for consideration.

Working together with Taurus’ team of professional consultants from the feasibility stage, Taurus co-ordinates and manages the full due diligence and acquisition work stream including desk-top and intrusive ground investigations, topographical, ecological, service, demolition, asbestos and other relevant surveys, Title review, pre-application planning enquiries and highways enquiries with the relevant local authorities, statutory supplier enquiries for mains services, initial design consideration and design development, detailed cost plan analysis and development appraisal.

Taurus works with the funding partner to negotiate and agree terms with the vendor through to exchange and completion of contracts and successful acquisition.

Taurus’ development acquisition services include:

  • Site Identification
  • Appraisal and Feasibility
  • Acquisition
  • Due Diligence
  • Funding
  • Master Planning
  • Planning
  • Design Development
  • Development Management
  • Leasing
  • Marketing
  • Investment
  • Asset Management

Development Management

Taurus undertakes a full development management role both on opportunities that it has identified and acquired in partnership with a funding partner and for clients who own development land and who use Taurus’ development expertise and experience to realise value by undertaking the development process in whole or part.

In each case, Taurus manages the professional consultant team through each key work stage – planning, detailed design development, cost plan development, enabling and/ or main contract tendering and procurement, marketing, leasing and investment sale or retained asset management.

Over the last few years Taurus has advised Tarmac (formerly Lafarge Tarmac) on the redevelopment of property assets in Erith, south-east London (9 acres) and the development of green belt land in Egham, Surrey (18 acres) and CBRE Global Investors on the development of land in Ealing, West London (24 acres).

Taurus’ development management services include:

  • Planning Strategy
  • Development Strategy
  • Pre-Commencement Due Diligence
  • Master Planning
  • Planning
  • Design Development
  • Development Management
  • Leasing
  • Marketing
  • Investment
  • Asset Management

Occupier Consultancy

Taurus offers services to industrial, warehouse and commercial property occupiers who are either looking to acquire and relocate to new premises or who own property which is suitable for refurbishment or redevelopment for either their own occupation or for value extraction.

Recent projects have included the acquisition of retail premises in Bath for Aria, The Lingerie Boutique, the acquisition of industrial premises in London for Paul Rhodes Bakery and the acquisition of retail premises in Bath for Material Hair Salon.

In December 2014, Taurus was appointed by University College of Estate Management (UCEM) to project manage its relocation from The University of Reading campus to new premises in Reading. This role included searching for and acquiring a suitable new offices premises and 60 Queens Road was acquired in August 2015 in an off-market transaction. Taurus was also responsible for the management of the consultant team to bring about the substantial refurbishment of the property to include new mechanical and electrical services, new windows, new Cat A fit out, Cat B fit out, furniture and the physical move. Works on site started in January 2016 and UCEM moved into its new home in July 2016.

Taurus Developments has looked after the interests of Hammond Rutts Investments Ltd for the last six years. The Directors first met Michael nearly twenty years ago when he was at Land Securities PLC. His practical, sensible approach and attention to detail always stood out, as did his determination to see projects finished. We continue to work with Taurus today.

John WalshHammond Rutts Investments

LaSalle Investment Management has worked successfully with Taurus over the last four years and in that time Michael Gibbens has delivered two very successful schemes. Michael is extremely pragmatic in his approach and brings considerable experience, knowledge, skill and professionalism; optimising a project outcome and delivering significant value. He is also a trusted partner and it has been a pleasure working with him.

Andrew DerryDevelopment Director, LaSalle Investment Management

Osborne has worked with Michael Gibbens over the last ten years both as a client during his time at Land Securities and Equity Estates and as an adviser to us since he established Taurus. Michael’s attention to detail and personable approach is highly regarded by Osborne and, in providing development acquisition and consultancy services, he gives clear, professional, balanced and considered advice.

David SarsonManaging Director, Osborne Developments (Part of Geoffrey Osborne Limited)

I have used Taurus to provide advice relating to planning and feasibility on an existing holding in Greater London. I have found Michael to be very knowledgeable, professional and diligent on this particular instruction and am convinced that his insight and endeavour will provide added value for the Fund that previous advisers have been unable to extract.I would have no hesitation in recommending Taurus in terms of assessing development viability.

Edward BrownCBRE, Global Investors

Tarmac has worked with Michael Gibbens of Taurus Developments for five years. Michael is a personable professional. He is tenacious and innovative in his approach to negotiations and sound in assessing development viability. He is very effective in converting tentative discussions into meaningful engagements between owners and occupiers and his market knowledge is a genuine asset to clients.

John DuffieldProperty Estates Manager, Tarmac

Michael has been a rock throughout the eighteen month project and his ultra-professional, pragmatic, positive and level-headed approach has been a key ingredient in the success of this project. I would like to express my sincerest thanks to Michael for his expert advice and patience throughout this process.

Ashley WheatonPrincipal, University College of Estate Management