In 2010, aged 25, Gary Linton founded The Linton Group, a company specializing in the acquisition and development of residential and mixed use property in central London.
Five years later when he turned 30 he claimed the total development pipeline of The Linton Group was in the hundreds of millions. DMZ takes a closer look at the rapid rise of the fresh-faced developer and how he dragged his business from his living room to a Belgravia Boardroom within 6 years.
With a family background in property, Linton graduated with an MSc in Real Estate at Cass Business School followed by a placement at commercial property house DTZ (now owned by Cushman & Wakefield).
After soaking up the knowledge of his colleagues, he went it alone using inheritance money from his grandfather and bank finance to purchase a two-bed flat on Gloucester Road.
“I started to enjoy it, had a few successes, and I managed to through networking gain some interest from external investors and development finance banks and then I came across my first multi-unit project, which was a scheme in Chelsea, in Fulham Road” Linton said.
It was on Fulham Road that he converted a historic old pub, restoring the original arched sash windows and refurbishing the pubs impressively high ceilings. He describes the development as an “interior design-led project” as he relied heavily on his interior design partner, Gemma Gordon Duff. Linton saw the success the pair created and promptly asked Duff to create a separate company, Gordon Duff & Linton, to work exclusively on the teams private developments.
Other developments quickly followed and private investors flocked to fund his next move as he rapidly acquired property in Battersea, Paddington, Dalston and more recently, Kentish Town.
“Fast forward on from six, seven, eight years ago, when it was just me sitting in my living room refurbishing single flats, we’ve now built up a development pipeline of about £300m in development assets across London, all predominantly multi-unit apartment schemes” he said.
His latest project is The Maple Building in Kentish Town which boasts a whopping 50 luxury apartments, 24-hour concierge and a state of the art gym.
Kentish Town, an area Frankenstein author Mary Shelley famously described as an “odious swamp”, is establishing itself as a desirable location with indebted celeb haunt Soho House launching four group-owned restaurants in the area within the past 5 years. Linton is enthusiastic about the developments potential, “there’s not been a new one there, a proper scale development, for nearly 20 years. So for us it’s an amazingly exciting opportunity.”
It’s hard not to be impressed with the meteoric rise of Linton since the formation of his company 6 years ago. However, the beginnings of his career appear to be particularly favourable – DMZ are not sure how many first time developers start out with a lump sum which can finance a two-bedroom flat in Kensington, all build and development costs plus a dedicated interior designer.
The number one struggle for most first time developers is the financing costs and high rates of interest which accompany them. By effectively leapfrogging the most precarious stage in most developers careers, Linton has been able use that initial equity to fast-track from single to multi-unit projects at a staggering pace.
That said, DealMakerz recognise Linton’s sharpness, identifying emerging London prime areas such as Kentish town and creating luxury sell-out developments is no mean feat in the current Real Estate environment. Now his group have scaled up their unit sizes, what’s next for the hotshot developer?
Moving into the ultra-prime market would surely be unwise at present, but perhaps a Finchatton-style multi-unit project that has connections to a luxury hotel might be on the cards? Whatever’s next for Linton, DMZ will keep you updated.
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