In its native France, Legendre is both a contractor and developer but since its arrival in London in 2015 it has operated only as a contractor. That is now changing.
Nicolas Swiderski, formerly of Bouygue’s LinkCity development business, has joined Legendre UK as head of property development.
“As developers navigate uncertainty, we see a chance to step in, leveraging our resilience to capitalise on opportunities as well as our excellent construction knowledge, track record, and financial expertise,” Nicolas Swiderski said
Legendre described the move as “a natural progression” given that this is the model of its parent company and that it has already invested funding into some of its projects in the UK, including Sheepcote Road, an affordable housing site in Harrow for Pocket Living, and a residential scheme for Matching Green in Dockley Road, Bermondsey.
Legendre UK is planning to build out its development projects itself. A particular focus will be placed on expanding the company’s portfolio of retrofit projects, it said.
The Legendre UK development branch will focus on projects encompassing London and other cities, including Brighton, Bristol, and Birmingham. The initial focus will be residential, build-to-rent, co-living, and student accommodation in Greater London.
“We’re aware of the challenges ahead, including inflationary pressures and high interest rates, and are keen to embrace complexity,” said Swiderski. “We steer clear of cookie-cutter approaches in favour of bespoke solutions – an approach that demands creativity, agility, and collaboration, pushing us to explore the unknown and shape a resilient future.”
Managing director Thomas Vandecasteele added: “Given that Legendre UK is now an established and capable contractor in the UK market, it makes complete sense to further our expansion through funding more client schemes or by initiating our own projects.
“I am very proud that a talent like Nicolas has decided to join us and embrace this challenge. His expertise in the UK market, student accommodation and PRS aligns well with the challenges faced by the industry, including project viability, high financing costs, increasing construction costs.
“Nicolas’ recruitment aligns seamlessly with our strategic plan, which has demonstrated its relevance not only in France, but also in Portugal, Jersey, and Switzerland.”
Groupe Legendre’s annual turnover is €930m and it currently employs 2,300 staff.