What are the prospects for the property sector in Yorkshire and Humber?
The prospects for the sector are very positive. We have a widely varied range of land and existing property, which can be quickly brought forward as the industry continues to re-emerge from what has been a difficult period.
What is the best project in which you have been involved?
Any project which provides a sustainable amenity for the community will always be more rewarding. The Broad Street Plaza development in Halifax is due to start trading shortly and the varied mix of tenants centred around a much-needed multi-screen cinema will revitalise the area. The project started during very difficult trading conditions and is a testament to what can be achieved in the region.
What is your favourite build-ing in the region and why?
The Princes Exchange building adjacent to Leeds City Station. It is a 1990s building, but still has a modern and striking design today. This is potentially the first building you will see on exiting Leeds City Station and it continues to set a standard for the rest of the city to attain.
If you could change one thing to improve the property industry in this region, what would it be?
The removal of empty building rates. The legislation was brought in during a different economic climate and was intended to promote development by encouraging owners to bring buildings back into use. It has, in fact, forced the premature demolition of buildings which may have become viable again and put an obstacle in the way of speculative development.
Who do you most admire in the property industry?
All of our commercial property clients who have continued to push forwards over the past few years. Simon Marshall, of the Marshall Group, is a good example of what a tenacious Yorkshireman can achieve while others batten down the hatches.