It took a catastrophic car crash and subsequent month-long induced coma for English businessman Kevin Stevens to choose a different direction in life. A Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Kevin had started his own general surveying practice in his early twenties, shortly after qualifying. In 1997 he invested in his first UK commercial property and, over the next ten years, his real estate experience enabled him to grow a portfolio of almost 280,000 square metres.
A Passion for Property with Kevin Stevens
In 2012, after recovering from his car accident (due to a suspected stroke), Kevin felt a new purpose: “I felt compelled to create something – but do it very well.” He restructured his business and set up his E5 Living division, under which banner he has since developed exceptional-quality homes in the UK and in Gstaad, Switzerland.
The key to his success is customer focus. He admits to being obsessed with meeting his customers’ needs and desires: “A home is invariably the biggest thing people buy in their lives. As a developer, you have to get it right.”
He uses his experience-honed instinct and careful research to identify prime development sites. This involves looking at the location itself, the amenities around, and considering whether he would want to live there. By talking to nearby residents and professionals, such as lawyers and notaries, he gains insight into the location’s desirability.
Camp de Mar was irresistible: “It has everything a buyer could wish for, at every level, pretty much at their fingertips.” Kevin has already developed two exceptional contemporary front-line villas here, designed by the Mallorca-based Belgian architect Michel Campioni. Villa Anguli and Villa Statera will be impressive homes for those seeking a coastal Mediterranean lifestyle, with good access to Palma de Mallorca and nearby Port d’Andratx.
Kevin’s first project in Palma de Mallorca’s Old Town should be released for sale this autumn. The townhouse Villa San Lorenzo has five floors (with a luxurious elevator); three double bedrooms each have a dressing room and ensuite bathroom (built-in wardrobes and bathrooms have passive infra-red-based lighting, for convenience). There’s a potential fourth bedroom if a home office isn’t required. This intelligent home has underfloor heating throughout. From one of its two roof terraces you can see the glittering Mediterranean; the other has a swimming pool. Up here, the summer kitchen window offers a beautiful view of the Cathedral’s rose window. Villa San Lorenzo also has its own two-car garage.
“I felt compelled to create something – but do it very well.”
Kevin’s passionate about preserving the heritage of the buildings he renovates: “When you do something in Old Town Palma, it’s a piece of history,” he says. “The core of the building needs that classic feel.” In the case of Villa San Lorenzo that means stone floors, traditional-style iron balustrades, immaculate carpentry, and using local artisans to restore or recreate – even though the interior itself is contemporary.
He remembers his father teaching him that ‘money shouts, wealth whispers’. “Here in the Old Town, that matters. The locals know what’s quality and what’s local. We have a massive responsibility to get it right.”
Kevin’s obsession with detail includes ensuring the ‘flow’ works within the home: the relationship between individual rooms and within multi-function rooms themselves must work. “The kitchen, for example, is the social space – where we live and also socialise, and so working out the best flow is key.” Villa San Lorenzo will be released for sale furnished, with an expected sale price of under five million euros.
For Kevin, the traditional properties of Palma’s Old Town are “things of beauty.” He enjoys building contemporary villas to suit someone’s lifestyle, “but my heart is in the Old Town because it’s so much more satisfying to get a property back to something really beautiful and have the locals embrace what you’re doing.”
His second Palma project is the renovation of a duplex apartment in Carrer Can Fortuny – last on the market fifty years ago. The duplex has terraces on two levels – one of which is 100 sqm and wraps around the building. Seven church towers are visible here, and the eventual owner will also enjoy views of the Cathedral and Bay of Palma. With its prime location and size, this will be a highly desirable property when finished early in 2020.
Proposals for the redevelopment of a third Old Town property are under consideration. How many properties has he looked at here? “Probably ten times the number I’ve bought,” he says. “It’s about waiting for the right opportunities.”
More information can be found at www.e5-holding.com