Whitefox announces rebrand and new development funding service

Whitefox Team BW

20 April 2016:  Poole based Frias-Robles Associates Ltd. has today announced a complete rebrand including the news that it will now trade as Whitefox Chartered Surveyors.  At the same time the firm is launching a brand new service and separate company called Whitefox Funding Ltd.

Managing Director Darren Frias-Robles explains why he decided to take this step, “I wanted to create a clear distinct brand which lends itself to the possibility of further expansion into other property related services or joint ventures with new partners.

“The Whitefox brand enshrines our biggest asset which is how we add value by thinking laterally and providing creative solutions to the challenges our clients face. Simultaneously it communicates our core values of honesty, integrity, and professionalism.”

Darren continues, “The increase in our client base which has grown steadily since we began 10 years ago combined with increased activity as a result of clients’ businesses growing has meant that post-recession our growth gives us a platform to invest in the business, continue to recruit and take advantage of expanding demand and ever increasing levels of enquiries.”

The increase in activity in the residential property sector has directly impacted on the business providing new opportunities to assist clients by providing access to private equity funding specifically targeted to support residential development projects cross the south of England.

This has opened up further opportunities for those same clients to access private wealth and investment funding. Darren’s sister, Michelle Frias Robles joins Darren as Director of a new company which will sit alongside and complement the surveying business:  Whitefox Funding Ltd.

Whitefox Funding will assist with accessing funding for residential developments on loan values between £500,000 and £10M at a ratio of up to 80% loan to cost. With the addition or introduction of private investors into this equation, depending on the opportunity in question, this can be increased up to 100%.

Developments must be within the south of England, have planning or outline planning consent in place and the applicant must have a track record of delivering similar schemes successfully.

Darren explains how this will benefit both current clients and the network of business associates the company has, “Our plan is to expand the funding offer beyond our current client base and make this available through our network of contacts and associates to enable them to also share in the rewards that this service brings in terms of increased business activity and fees. “


An undersea empire

The year 3000 may not have reached us yet but underwater living already  has!  Dubai’s new underwater hotel is already nearing completion and it’s only a matter of time before the hotel will be open for business. The new sea friendly accommodation will be named The ‘Water Discus Hotel’ and  definitely looks like something a bond villain would use as a holiday home.  The underwater section is located up to 10 meters deep and is composed of 21 hotel rooms adjacent to the submerged dive center and bar. Discs above the surface allow visitors to enjoy the sunshine and new found technology along with macro photography allows them to explore the deep from within the safety of their hotel bed.

Worried of possible disasters? Don’t fret, as the submerged discs are programmed to rise in the event of danger and the top discs are strong enough to withstand tsunamis.  However, this hotel is not the first to explore the depths of the ocean. That title goes to the Maldives Rangali islands resort which features a submerged aquarium and a few residential areas. It also claims to have future plans ‘to create a floating golf course on islands, with players able to access each island via underground tunnels.’
To find out more about these magnificent feats of architecture, click here. 

Rebuilding from the rubble

In February 2011, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck the second largest town in New Zealand, causing utter destruction in its wake and was named the country’s ‘darkest day’.

4 years later and its impact on the people of Christchurch is still abundantly clear but despite this terrible event, the citizens were determined to re-build their once beautiful city into something even more magnificent.

One of the most treasured and historic structures in NZ that was unfortunately affected was the transitional Cathedral. It suffered terrible damage and any restoration seemed impossible with what was left behind. But, after some consideration, an extraordinary plan was drawn up that entailed, if you can believe it, a re-build using cardboard foundations.

This wasn’t the first innovate plan the people of Christchurch had in store. After the wake of the earthquake, the general consensus was to prevent the damage reoccurring. To prepare for such an event, a large office block, the collapse of which caused most of the fatalities, gained “19 very large ball bearings, so that in case of an earthquake it can move half a metre in any direction depending on the severity of the earthquake and then just gradually settle back into its right place.” This new addition will undoubtedly save lives in the event of another earthquake, regardless of its recorded magnitude.

Almost three-quarters of damaged roads, water pipes and sewage systems have been repaired but reconstruction work will almost certainly take more than a decade to complete. Despite this setback, the chief executive of the Canterbury Development Corporation, sees a light at the end of the tunnel with high expectations for the finished project, “It is all about that new Christchurch and how we make it exciting, and vibrant and attractive, and just the coolest little city in the world.”

After all, “In a time of destruction, create something.”

To find out more, click here.

Architecture is reaching new heights – quite literally!

A recent winner of a competition, inspiring a new addition to the Himalayan trails, has designed a ‘Penthouse: house on top of the world’ which could save countless lives upon construction. This new architectural idea is the product of genius engineering after the appalling earthquake of Nepal which, along with civilian casualties, cost 10 mountain climbers their lives. Due to Everest’s position on the Himalayan fault line, a re-occurrence is almost guaranteed, so this new structure is designed to keep hikers safe, for up to 7 days, while they rest and recuperate before embarking on their perilous journey up the world’s tallest mountain.

The winning design features prefabricated areas —from the window to toilet modules—that can be joined together to create a continuous space. This also allows each area to have separate stability in the wake of any tremors and separate transportation by helicopter. The modules were produced using PVC and are insulated with timber and thick hard foam walls to maintain a warm and comfortable living environment inside, keeping away the harsh conditions of Nepal.

The runners up for the competition also produced some really intriguing designs. Second place was claimed by the ‘Shelter Bag’, designed to be a ‘hybrid between the mountaineering sleeping bag and the tent’. It’s also avalanche resistant and surrounded by an insulated shell protecting the light carbon beams which make up it main structural frame. An additional layer decorated with a Himalayan flag design covers the exterior of the cocoon-like shelter which helps retain heat and continuous ventilation. An ellipse-shaped building took third place, which consisted of a solar panel-topped central service unit and a gabion wall that wrapped around the entire perimeter. The solar-powered building, like its fellow competitors, also featured rainwater collection and a storage area but also held new items such as lightweight ETFE pillows and a fully functioning greenhouse. Like the winner, it can also be assembled and transported by helicopter.

To find out more about these new mountaineering homes, click here.