Turning a Department Store into 100 Units: The Bold Vision of Mark Homer


Show Notes

I’m joined by property investor Mark Homer, who discusses a fascinating commercial property project in Peterborough. The project involved the redevelopment of an 80,000 square foot department store that had been vacant since Marks and Spencer’s moved out in 2015.

Mark shares the challenges he faced in acquiring the property and navigating the planning process. He also reveals how the original main contractor went into administration, forcing him to create his own building company to complete the project. 


  • Mark had to overcome challenges with financing and finding the right team to complete the project successfully.
  • Mark emphasises the importance of understanding permitted development rights and leveraging them to maximise the value of the property.
  • The initial investment strategy had to be adapted based on the local market and available opportunities.
  • There were many setbacks that Mark had to face, such as the main contractor going into administration, but he was able to pivot and build the project himself with his own team.
  • Mark highlights the importance of managing health and safety regulations and having a dedicated team to ensure compliance throughout the construction process.


“What sort of really got me into it was I saw these permitted development rights and the vendors, well, they didn’t get that.” 

“I thought, maybe this is the thing to do. I said, yeah, that’s where I was getting to. So that’s what I did.”

“I’ve got a health and safety consultant every two weeks on site for a report. Every single thing on there that’s amber or red, I’d want it all.” 

“I’ve had main contractors lying to me for years about all sorts of stuff and creating stress. Because they’re that middle party. Everything then becomes more opaque.” 

“So we went to the first one’s house, and his wife was there. I had his address from somewhere. I think I did a bit. I stayed at 192, you know, company’s house, whole lot, got his home address, went round.” 


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