The Neighbourhood is a 129 bed student accommodation scheme in the centre of Exeter.

The developer, Ethos, contacted us April 2019 after their contractor had gone into liquidation along with the Mechanical Contractor. The rooms were generally in a good condition but the roof and envelope were incomplete, the mechanical system needed some work to complete, all systems needed to be commissioned and rooms fitted out and snagged.

We were approached by Ethos, on recommendation from Girling Jones, to come in assess all aspects of the project and put together a team to complete the project.

Initially there was an intense period as we made contact with all the trade contractors and consultants. Work out who wants to continue, what are the key risks, what site team is needed and pull together a target programme. This was then presented to the client for comment and approval before implementation.

At first dialogue with the client body was daily but once the plan was in place we reverted to fortnightly meeting with the client, design team and funders.

You’ll be pleased to know that the scheme was completed in August 2019, including attaining BREEAM accreditation, and occupied by the new intake of students in September 2019.

We are now supporting Ethos on a second scheme in Exeter using the same site management team.

Hope that gives you a taste of the type of thing we do when we take over a distressed project.

James Kennedy, Investment Manager

We Are Ease were brought in to the project at a point when the main contractor had fallen into administration and we had secured control of the site.We needed a firm with a established reputation who would be able to draw on local connections at short notice. They also needed to have a keen eye for both the commercial and the practical requirements of stepping in to a long and varied list of unfinished sub-contract packages and to lead a team on site with our support in the background. Student Housing is time-critical on delivery and we needed to very quickly re-mobilize works in order to achieve the August completion date.Works began within 2 weeks of us taking control of the site and started with a considerable amount of backward-looking remediation of defective works left by the outgoing contractor. We Are Ease led the negotiations with all the incoming contractors and were able to secure the return of those who had previously withdrawn their services.We would not say the project was without its challenges but we were pleased to have the benefit of a close and very effective working relationship with We Are Ease to get it across the line.The scheme opened to incoming students on time and on budget and we did not hesitate to continue the relationship with We Are Ease for the construction of the second phase of the site which is due to complete in August 2021.

Key project stages