Property People: Alex Solk

What are the prospects for the commercial property sector in Yorkshire?

Alex Solk, partner and head of healthcare at Sheppard Robson

The prospects for the property sector in Yorkshire are very good. There is a lot of confidence in Yorkshire at the moment. It looks like the Northern Powerhouse has cast a spotlight on the region with Leeds doing particularly well from the attention. Professional services are relocating into Leeds city centre and it feels like Leeds is very confident and competing better than its peers.

What is the best project you’ve been involved in?

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There are two. Brynmor Jones Library at the University of Hull is a project of ambition, central to the plans of the university to be competing at the highest level and kick-starting the campus transformation.

Another great one is working with Leeds Beckett University to develop its long term plans. This is an excellent example of strategic thinking on a city wide level.

What’s your favourite building in the region and why?

The Hepworth Gallery. It is a clean, pure piece of contemporary architecture which could stand alongside any gallery in terms of its quality and the space it creates.

What could be done to improve the property sector in the region?

The region needs to continue to recognise that it needs to compete on the international stage and not just regionally. Projects needs to be considered strategically against their peers in other leading global cities and also in terms of what the city will look like in 20 years’ time and beyond.

Whom has inspired you?

John Thorp, Leeds civic architect (retired). Leeds is now confidently developing big schemes rather than one-off projects in line with John’s vision for the future of the city.