From church conversions to record revenue – EW Developments are the next big thing in Liverpool
Liverpool firm EW Developments were founded in 2019 by business partners James Winters, founder of major engineering firm M-Tech, and Rob Edwards, architect and founder of R+R Design.
They opened their first property, The Phoenix Hotel, in their first year, completely redeveloping an abandoned Victorian building in North Liverpool into a boutique hotel.
EW Developments launched a second site in the heart of Liverpool City Centre, The Phoenix Pods, at the end of 2022 following the success of The Phoenix.
They have also completed a stunning church conversion, completely renovating the dilapidated property into 11 luxury apartments.
James tells us about EW Developments and their big plans for the next five years.
James, EW Developments are one of the most exciting and ambitious emerging developers in the North West. Tell us about the story so far.
EW started as a domestic property builder, dealing with extensions and loft conversions mainly.
However, we built up an excellent reputation and the workload and size of contracts we were awarded have increased.
From there, we have went on to fully redevelop our two hotels, The Phoenix Hotel and Phoenix Pods, complete a full a church conversion and a 26 apartment build for a housing association.
We are now on target for a record year with estimate turnover of over £5 million by next April.
The Phoenix Hotel and Phoenix Pods Hotel are two of EW’s largest projects to date. What made EW move into the boutique hotel market and are there plans for further hotels?
Rob and I moved into the hospitality industry because of where the Phoenix Hotel was situated.
We initially planned a residential conversion, but because of the proximity to Everton and Liverpool football stadiums, we decided to venture into the boutique hospitality market.
Because of the major success of The Phoenix, in a really short space of time, this gave Rob and I the confidence to take on another hotel, The Phoenix Pods, which is in Liverpool City Centre with an additional 32 rooms.
Hospitality is so customer-based and forward-facing, and we always aim to give our customers an amazing experience and value for money. That is our ethos, that we keep the customer happy every single time and give them a good deal, especially in the current climate.
Everyone still wants to do nice things, but at the moment, they might not necessarily have the money. At The Phoenix and Phoenix Pods, we offer a niche of affordable luxury to all our guests.
EW Developments recently converted an abandoned church into 11 luxury apartments in the south of Liverpool. How satisfying is to deliver such a stunning job in a challenging environment?
From an EW Developments perspective, it shows our versatility.
We’ve gone from new build houses, to apartment conversions and right across to unique and complex builds, with abandoned and dilapidated sites such as churches, it shows how versatile we are to breathe fresh life into derelict places.
We gave the church a fresh lease of life, but not only the church, the community too. They are able to use the building again, and that is a really nice feeling.
With the portfolio of work we have successfully completed over the last three of four years, it shows the industry our flexibility.
Owing to Rob’s background in architecture, EW Developments can cover all aspects of design and construction, from the initial drawings to handing over the keys to customers.
We’ve gone between church conversions, hotels, houses, apartment blocks, new builds… EW Developments covers it all and always deliver in a successful and timely manner.
What are the main lessons you have learned from creating and growing firms such as M-Tech, EW Developments and the Phoenix Hotel group?
Any industry, no matter what sector, the core principles are the same.
You need to be invested and enjoy what you do, but if you deliver what you say you are going to deliver for the right cost, then the work should speak for itself.
If you are true to your word, and always deliver, that is the foundation for any successful business.
What are your overall plans for growth in the next 3-5 years with EW Developments?
In 3-5 years, I envisage EW Developments as a cornerstone for construction in the North West and hopefully further afield.
I can’t see any issues in exceeding £10 million in sales during this time because we have the infrastructure to deliver as we branch out and deliver projects across the nation.