Voluntary Developer Partnerships

Voluntary Developer Partnerships

Delivering significant development and regeneration in which there are multiple land owners is a huge challenge. This partnership format knits together the 'common parts' elements of the development process whilst still allowing developers to advance their individual sites and ownerships in the usual way - ie to both cooperate and compete at the same time.

Paddington Waterside - a unique example of developer collaboration 

By 'cooperate' we mean in terms of interfacing with the public sector, in particular public realm, masterplanning, place making and s106 issues and considerations; by 'compete' we mean in terms of building and marketing their own buildings to occupiers and investors.

Arguably the best example of this approach in the UK property sector is Paddington Waterside Partnership, launched in 1998 with a small handful of founding developer members, now c20 members involving over a dozen separate major development projects in different land ownership across 80acres. It is this fragmentation of ownership that provides the very reason for Paddington Waterside Partnership's existence.

Members of Paddington Waterside Partnership subscribe on an annual, voluntary basis. The Partnership is not-for-profit and operates as a company limited by guarantee. Subscription levels for developers are determined by scale of development (typically around £15,000pa), and for occupiers by staff numbers/floorspace occupied. Together with s106 contributions this creates a financial platform to employ a small executive team and implement projects.

The Partnership employs a small executive team to perform a number of distinct functions on behalf of all of the partners including a regular mechanism for exchange of development information and best practice through its Developer Forum; produce composite marketing and communications voice for the entire ‘place’; a link between the developments/developers and the local community; operating a recruitment service to match local jobseekers with vacancies in the new developments; assisting companies with corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities at a local level; catalysing and managing Paddington Business Improvement District (BID).

Achievements are impressive, including two flagship Hilton hotels, over 1000 residential units, c3m sq ft of commercial space (including M&S HQ), extensive public realm improvements (including 1,000 metres of canal towpath open for first time in 200 years), c£3 billion of investment, creation of a local labour market support unit placing nearly 10,000 people and catalyst for a Business Improvement District (BID).

For more ideas and inspiration on the potential for a more collaborative form of business see the story of Visa and - www.thisispaddington.com