I exchanged on a flat in block C at the Jam Factory back in July. After originally being told by the agent it would be ready in August (!?), I've since learnt that it won't complete until early November.
Since discovering this and working with the developer, they have been quite accommodating and helpful, although painfully slow at times.
Are there any other residents or prospective residents which would like to share their experiences? Were you delayed? How was the snagging process? Anything I should be looking out for at completion?
It will be some time before the whole development will be complete. you will be unfortuantely be living in a building site until this time next year.... We have been living with it for nearly three years!!!
I'm in Block A, and have been since May, though my completion was seriously delayed too.
The whole site is running massively behind schedule for a number of reasons it seems:
1. the management of the works was absolutely shambolic at the start, though I must say things have improved greatly over the last few months. I regularly visited the site from summer 2002 to check how my place was going and it was not uncommon to see half a dozen blokes hanging about watching another one dig a hole. I don't think Angel have undertaken a project of this size before and were a little "green" when it came to organising everything.
2. the original plans at Southwark council had the ground floor of Block B and all of Block C as commercial space. It's now all going to be residential (some live/work which pretty much equates to the same thing) so Angel have to co-ordinate the fitting out of the space alongside the rest of the site rather than hand it over to someone else to develop. I get the feeling that fewer apartments have been sold as shells than anticipated too.
3. the plans also had parking for 140 cars. I understand the parking's now going to cover some 300 cars which involves a whole lot more work and a much deeper hole. Has anyone seen it recently - it's huge!
I think Dave is optimistic that it will cease to be a building site this time next year but at least the organisation and disruption situation is improving, though I do feel sorry for local residents who are inconvenienced and disturbed by what's going on.
I must say though, I like what Angel are doing to the site and I think that once finished, it will be a vast improvement over the rather sad looking warehouses that used to stand there up to a couple of years ago.
In terms of my experiences, I started a snagging list well before I moved in and managed to get a number of items addressed before completion. I would recommend this course but it will delay completion further which might not be an option for some people. I still have a fair number of snagging items outstanding four months on and Angel are addressing them, albeit slowly, but I stand by my assertion that snagging items are much more likely to be addressed if you still owe money!
Toby, you are spot on with keeping an eye on the quality of finish in your apartment while it is being built. With buying 'off plan' don't wait till you move in - visit site frequently, turn up unannounced and check/question everything. Developers rely on naive buyers, seduced by the marketing brochures and many developments are built by underskilled contractors who are allowed [by site managers] to get away with poor quality work which will come back to haunt the buyer long after the construction workers have departed. Buyers are often pressurised into accepting unfinished work by being given 2 weeks notice to complete. Don't expect the NHBC policy to bail you out!
I also exchanged on a flat in Block C and indeed I was told by the agent that completing the flat would take between 9 and 12 weeks, whereas Angel now need 18 (!) weeks to complete. I was told last week that I won't be able to move into the flat until the first week of December. Jane is quite right saying that I am a naive and unexperienced buyer and I wouldn't really know how to pay attention to the quality of work. Toby, if I could have a look at your snagging list I'd be grateful as I will then know what kind of things to look at.
Very refreshing and balanced commentary - thank you. It's important that we develop a relationship between jam factory and existing residents. I overlook the development from Prioress Street and it has been a shambles from the start - although yes I do agree that things have improved a massive amount over the last few months since a site co-ordinator has been appointed. I also agree that the whole project is a big bonus for the area - although do admit to having reservations about an extra 300 odd cars - last we heard it was 200 but even this will have a massive impact on the area - especially as falls within the C Zone.
I had the laugh about the Five Guys watching one work mentality - by the gatehouse where the guard sits... this was dug up at least 5 times to lay seperate cables in the space of atwo months, it was a farce worthy of the City/West End.
We did want to be more involved with the project and minimising disruption on a give and take basis but were treated with a "We have planning permission we can do what we want" attitude by Mansells. Also the fact that the money given by Angel under section 10? something or other (designed as a sweetner to improve local facilities and area) went directly to the Council (280k) none of which went back in to the adjacent area - more than likely Peckham!
In short though, welcome to the area. We are in dialogue with the MD of Angel about the final block on the Alice Street car park and discussion is under way about improvements to the immediate area as a result of this.
I'm happy to talk to you about my snagging list and things you should look out for but I guess the relevance of my experience to you depends on what floor your flat's on and what finish you're going for, since different teams of fitters are employed for different flats. There are a few general things to look out for though such as any movement in walls or floors, loose fittings and sockets, check all sockets, lights and electrical appliances work, check all doors and windows open and close properly and lock, check for unfinished, chipped, scratched or marked paintwork and plaster etc etc.
There's been talk on here of concern for the local residents and the blight on their lives from the work over the last couple of years at the Jam Factory. Well, I've lived on the estate opposite for the last 10 years and it's true, it is an inconvenience but to me that goes hand in hand with being a Londoner. I don't live right on Rothsay St where I'm sure it's much worse but it feels as if the problems are only just begining.
It's not the trucks it's the music. Since the JF has become more inhabited there have been a couple of parties that seem to be over the top two floors and being that high the noise drifts out over the whole area. This isn't like someone having a party down the block where all you hear is the throbbing low end stuff; this is the whole audio spectrum including all that tsk-tsk-tsk stuff. And what makes it worse (far worse) is the choice of music. Last time it was Robert Bloody Palmer's greatest hits (before he died) RIP. Who dances to Robert Palmer albums at parties?
Please, please, please have some consideration for the locals and improve the choice of tunes at your parties.