In the Name of Allah The Most Beneficent the Most Merciful.
Construction Begins at Former Al Mahdi Institute Building
Dear Community Members,
I pray that you are in the best of health InshAllah.
On behalf of the Building Committee, I would like to thank the Community for their unanimous support at last Thursday’s Special General Meeting. Alhamdulillah, I am pleased to report that the construction work has begun at the former Al Mahdi Institute building on 532 Moseley Road.
For those of you were not able to attend the meeting, I have summarised below some of the main points from the meeting so that you may be kept updated on the matters that were discussed. The slides from the PowerPoint presentation are also attached.
Options we considered
The picture to the right shows the state of one of the areas of the building where water is entering the electric meters, which is quite dangerous. The building has reached the end of its current lifecycle and so the Jamaat had no option but to spend some money in order to make it fit for purpose.
After the building was vacated, we considered a number of options for how to maximise the Jamaat’s income. With the help of Muslim Dharamshi and Murtaza Master, we looked at the following options for how to use the building:
- Renting the building out to one tenant (as a flat)
- Turning it into student accommodation
- Converting it into three separate flats
After discussing the options taking into account various factors including return rates and maintenance, the option recommended to the EC was to convert it into three flats. We will now have a one bedroom flat, a two bedroom flat and a three bedroom flat.
The plans for the new flats can be found on the Jamaat website.
Originally, 532 Moseley Road was being rented out to the Hawza at a discounted rate of £500 per month, after having the new concept appraised by estate agents we are hoping that once renovated the three flats in total will bring the Jamaat an income of £1,600 per month (£19,200 per annum).
In order to get the most value for money and so that we could be accountable to the Community, we opted to go through a tender process. A 32 page tender document was produced and sent to 11 parties who were invited to tender for the work. This document is available here.
Costs and recommendations
Once we received the tender responses back, these were assessed on the basis of three factors:
- Time it would take to complete the work
- Cost of the works
- Quality of the works
The EC and BC reviewed the tenders received. The costs as detailed by the winning tenderers are shown below:
You will note from the above that there is a contingency amount of 10%. Providing that there are no further unforeseen elements, we are confident to be able to deliver the project within the amount of £85,000 that was approved at the Special General Meeting.
What mandate was given by the General Body?
At the SGM on Thursday 6th March, the following was approved:
- The Executive Committee and Building Committee are authorised to spend up to £85,000 on the project.
- If the costs go above £85,000, an emergency meeting will be held between EC/BC in order to sign off the additional expenditure.
- Full accounts of the project must be presented to the General within 3 months of the completion of the project.
The full text of the resolution can be obtained from the Jamaat office.
Questions arising from the SGM
A number of questions were raised at the SGM, which I would like to address below:
- Why was an emergency meeting called?
The Committee had put a considerable amount of planning into the project and it was important that the necessary approvals were given by the General as soon as possible as the contractors were on standby. If we had not started then we would have had to use another set of contractors as the ones that had won the tender would have got other jobs.
Ideally, we would have liked to have brought the matter to the General sooner but due to a few issues with Building Regulations, the project got delayed as we went back and forth with the Council.
It is also important to bear in mind that any further delays would have meant further delays to the Jamaat receiving rental income for the property.
The work actually started on Friday 7th March as we had mentioned at the SGM.
2. How long will the project take?
We estimate that the project will take 12 weeks to complete.
3. Did you consider joining the Al Mahdi flats to the flats at the back of the Syeda Zainab Building?
Yes. This option was considered but was discarded as impractical and more costly. Furthermore, the building of such a link would cause inconvenience to the Nursery and residents at the existing flats. A full report on this can be found here.
Vote of thanks
Once again, I would like to thank the Community for its support with this project. I would also like to express my gratitude to Fatema Zahra Bandali and Abaas Bhimji on the excellent work that they have done on a pro-bono basis in order to get the project to the stage where it is so far.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require further information. We will update again as the construction work progresses Inshallah.
With Salaams and Duas,