Smithfield’s Bloody Battle

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London house prices to reach nadir in 2009

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Ireland’s A-wear takes on UK high streets

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New hope for giant city centre site in Birmingham

first_imgThe Birmingham Alliance chose to redevelop the Bullring Estate before Martineau GalleriesIn 2001, the trio developed part of the original, larger Martineau Galleries site into a shopping centre called Martineau Place – which they later sold – before redeveloping the Bullring shopping centre, which opened in 2003.After that the plan was to move on to phase two of Martineau Galleries, and in 2006, a planning application was approved for a 2.86m sq ft development that would be dominated by 915,000 sq ft of retail.The plans also included 270,000 sq ft of office space, 215,000 sq ft of leisure and either a 320,000 sq ft hotel or 850 residential units, but construction never got off the ground due to the recession and in 2014, Hammerson bought out its partners to become the sole owner of the site.Over the years, the sites’ owners have come under fire from Birmingham City Council and local residents for their lack of activity. However, the delays may mean that Martineau Galleries will turn out to be a better and more sustainable scheme, according to local property experts.Tariq Shaikh, principal and leader of UK regional markets at Gensler, says the scheme will be designed with new developments such as HS2 and the growing business district around Snow Hill in mind that would not have been possible had it come forward a few years ago as initially planned.“Rather than compete with the established retail offering towards the south of the city, the site offers to connect the commercial part of town to the HS2 terminal, as well as offering much-needed high-quality residential apartments located in the city centre,” he says. “Painful though it may have been, it’s better to wait for the right solution.”Add to that the current state of the retail occupier market, and it is fair to say that Hammerson may have dodged a bullet by not bringing forward the original, retail-led plans in the late 2000s. Now, it is anticipated that the plans will be office-led. This is perhaps unsurprising, given both the site’s proximity to the HS2 station and the abundance of retail and leisure following the opening of Hammerson’s Grand Central in 2015, which added 500,000 sq ft of city centre retail space to the 1.2m sq ft at Bullring.Campus life“My personal view is that it is best suited to being an office-led, mixed-use scheme with potential for a significant proportion of residential, hotels and amenity retail,” says GVA’s Toogood.The significant size of the Martineau Galleries site means it has the potential for more than 1m sq ft of offices, as well as hundreds of residential units. “I could very much see some sort of campus, perhaps with the feeling of a Brindleyplace [a Birmingham scheme developed by Argent in the 1990s comprising mainly office space, bars and restaurants] or even a mini King’s Cross,” says David Smeeton, senior director and head of investment in Cushman & Wakefield’s Birmingham office.“Painful though it may have been, it’s better to wait for the right solution”Tariq Shaikh, GenslerIf the new scheme has anything like the 2.86m sq ft of floorspace outlined in the original plan, the future Martineau Galleries could be twice as big as Brindleyplace and significantly larger than the Bullring. There is also the potential for buildings of significant height, as evidenced by Nikal and the Royal Bank of Scotland’s nearby Masshouse development, which comprises 13 commercial and residential blocks of up to 15 storeys.“Perhaps we could see something similar to what we have seen in London with Apple [at Battersea Power Station] and Google [at King’s Cross],” says Smeeton.The site is also close to the Birmingham City University campus, providing a link to academia and innovation similar to that of King’s Cross, where Central St Martins has a campus on site.But with new office-led developments under way at Argent and Hermes’ Paradise Birmingham and Ballymore and M&G’s Three Snowhill, among others, does the market have the demand for another large chunk of office space? The current Martineau Galleries in BirminghamAlthough there now seems to be a degree of certainty that a scheme will come forward at the Martineau Galleries site, there is still one important question left unanswered: will Hammerson see the development through to fruition as its sole owner?The company is certainly no stranger to offices or residential, but it has had very little exposure to either in the past few years having refocused its portfolio towards retail. Some expect it to look to sell the site outright after gaining planning permission, while others predict that it will bring on partners to deliver certain aspects of the scheme.“Are they going to bring it to market and seek a partner to buy out their interest in the scheme and take the site through this long process? That remains to be seen,” says Toogood. “But everything we hear suggests they are going to seek a partner or purchaser.”Smeeton adds: “We may have seen the end of large shopping centre development so Hammerson will need to turn to other forms of development going forward. But it is still a retail REIT, so an office and residential-led scheme does not quite fit the bill. I think it is more likely that it will prepare the site for some kind of sale.”Time to progressDe Mello is not so sure. Given how much Hammerson owns in Birmingham, he says, selling Martineau Galleries without at least retaining a stake could open Grand Central and the Bullring up to competition.“Someone else might take it on and develop a scheme that could compromise Hammerson’s existing assets,” he says.Either way, the scheme is still several years from coming out of the ground. Market sources anticipate that the earliest start on site for Martineau Galleries would be in around three years, and that the earliest time a first phase of delivery might complete would be at least five years away.“It would make sense for the first phase of delivery to happen in the mid-2020s, just ahead of HS2 opening [in 2026] and when the other major Birmingham city centre office scheme, Paradise, will be coming to a close,” says Toogood.Whatever iteration the scheme eventually takes, and whoever is developing it, finally it seems time for development on the site to progress – and for the last major piece of Birmingham city centre’s puzzle to slot into place. Book your place for RESI Convention 2018 to join the debate on mixed-use resi solutions A new Martineau would have to compete with schemes like Paradise Birmingham“I don’t see it as a threat to other office schemes. It is complementary and it is needed,” says Smeeton. “The city will continue to grow on the back of HS2 and we will need more space to accommodate new occupiers. If we build it, they will come.”It does seem that demand for office space is on an upward trajectory. According to Savills’ Birmingham Office Market Watch, published in May 2018, take-up reached 148,000 sq ft during the first three months of 2018 – 14% above the 10-year first-quarterly average.However, given the size of the site, there is likely to be a sizeable chunk of retail and leisure space, even if it is not the main focus – after all, Hammerson is a retail REIT and sold off the last of its office portfolio in 2014.Big questionJonathan De Mello, director of retail consultancy at Harper Dennis Hobbs, says additional retail space is not necessarily a bad thing for the city – as long as the right kind of operators are chosen.“The tenant mix needs to be very carefully thought out, and really focused on leisure,” he says. “Dining is still one of Birmingham city centre’s weaker areas, and it needs a lot more quality leisure.”In a recent report, Harper Dennis Hobbs predicted that Birmingham would see the largest increase in retail spend of any UK town or city between now and 2025 at 2.54%, partly due to ambitious new developments such as Martineau Galleries.Public realm will also play an important role, according to Nick Williams of Savills’ Birmingham office. “Public realm will be key because the Martineau site will provide a link between HS2 and the business district. It will become a major thoroughfare,” he says. Sorry state: the Martineau Galleries is currently home to dated schemes such as The SquareSource: flickr_cred metrogogoSituated between the future Curzon Street HS2 station and the Colmore Row business district, the jumble of dated and partially vacant retail and office buildings has the potential to make way for a significant new mixed-use scheme – but little progress to redevelop the site has been made in recent years.That could be set to change. Hammerson – which has been involved with the site in some capacity since the late 1990s – has said it will bring forward a new masterplan for Martineau Galleries later this year, before “progressing toward the submission of a planning application”.So what might the scheme include? And what role could it play in the redevelopment of Birmingham’s city centre?Buildings currently on the site, which has a total of 63 tenants, include a 270,000 sq ft shopping centre called The Square; an Ikea store; additional retail units at Kings Parade; two car parks; and heavy-metal pub Scruffy Murphy’s.“It is the missing link in central Birmingham,” says Charles Toogood, senior director and head of the national offices team at GVA. “The only part of the city centre that still looks like it did 30 years ago is that site.”The story of the redevelopment of Martineau Galleries began in 1999, when Hammerson, Landsec and Phoenix Group Holdings formed a consortium known as the Birmingham Alliance to undertake several major retail-led projects in the city.last_img read more

Genuine Parts Company Announces Officer Changes

first_imgPaul Donahue, chairman and CEO of Genuine Parts Company, commented, “Each of these talented individuals is well deserving of their new and expanded roles. Lisa, Vickie, Chris and Jennifer have proven their value to the company in their years at GPC, and we are confident that Tripper is the right person for his new role in our transformation office.  These officers provide us with the experience and expertise to further strengthen our corporate leadership team, and we know they will do an outstanding job for us. We look forward to their future contributions to the company.” Genuine Parts Company announced recently several corporate officer changes. AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement Finally, it was announced that Murray “Tripper” Briggs has joined the company as vice president, strategic business transformation. Briggs has significant experience in strategic business development and analytics and will work with the transformation office to develop, prioritize and lead transformation initiatives to accelerate profitable growth and operational productivity. Lisa Hamilton was promoted to senior vice president, total rewards, and Vickie Smith was promoted to senior vice president, employee experience.  Hamilton, a 24-year veteran of the company, has served as vice president, benefits, for the last seven years and has overseen the company’s health, welfare, retirement and wellbeing programs. In her new role, Hamilton will also have responsibility for compensation, providing for a cohesive Total Rewards Program. The company also announced that Christopher Galla, who has served the company for 15 years, was appointed vice president and general counsel, having served as vice president and assistant general counsel for the last five years. As general counsel, Galla will have responsibility for all legal matters as well as an expanded role in risk management and employment matters. Additionally, Jennifer Ellis was named vice president, compliance and corporate secretary. Ellis has served the company for six years as associate counsel and the last five years as corporate secretary and has been instrumental in her work with the board of directors, shareholder engagement and proxy and other SEC filings. In her new position, she will have an expanded role with compliance and environmental, social and governance matters.  Advertisement Smith has been with the company for 18 years and previously served as vice president, employee relations. Smith is responsible for the company’s efforts in areas such as talent management, HR compliance and communications and organizational development. In her expanded role, she will also lead the company’s HR operations.last_img read more

Airgas debuts new gas stream purity monitors

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Foster Wheeler central to UK CCS

first_imgSubscribe Get instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270.last_img

Kongsberg Maritime adds to training portfolio

first_imgGlobal marine technology company, Kongsberg Maritime has reported a “significant increase” in the number of delegates partaking in its training courses. According to Kongsberg, from 2013 to 2014, delegates rose by 26%, and there was also a 36% increase in courses delivered from its training centre in Westhill, Aberdeen.The company looks to continue the success with the launch of its new Dynamic Positioning (DP) Introduction course, which has been re-introduced in response to new industry guidelines. The DP Introduction course, which follows the recommendations contained in The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) guidelines, is designed for onshore and offshore personnel who require a greater understanding of DP and how it can impact their role to support or manage safe and efficient DP vessel operations.Utilising its position as a manufacturer of DP technology, the company’s training centre provides specialist training on its suite of products from DP Maintenance to Advanced DP Operator. The centre encompasses an advanced vessel simulator and specialist individual consoles to provide realistic training scenarios, which are used extensively throughout the course, Kongsberg said in the release.Euan Duncan, training manager at Kongsberg Maritime, said: “We are continually developing our training portfolio in response to industry demand and we believe that our knowledge, reputation and expertly taught courses have each contributed to the strong year on year increase of delegates and courses delivered. “The DP Introduction course concentrates on the layout of a DP system and its operational uses along with DP regulations and guidance. On completion, the programme gives delegates an awareness and understanding of DP,  leaving them better equipped to tackle maritime-based challenges, allowing them to enhance their skills, and make  a tangible contribution to the skills base of their team.”Ahead of the official launch, the course was delivered on a pilot scheme basis, feedback and recommendations were given from those using the learning outcomes first hand.Dave Marsh, course delegate and dive supervisor at Bibby Offshore, said: “The content vastly improved my knowledge of all systems we currently use, as well as some interesting history of the development of DP. The practical exercises were very informative and gave me a much better appreciation of the DPO’s job.”  [mappress mapid=”1365″]last_img read more

Cheniere cleared to export more LNG from Corpus Christi

first_imgThe United States Department of Energy issued an order authorizing Cheniere to export LNG from its stage 3 project (Trains 4 and 5) of the Corpus Christi liquefaction facility, to be located in San Patricio and Nueces Counties, Texas. Cheniere has been authorized to export equivalent to approximately 514 Bcf/yr of natural gas for a 20-year term, according to the order.Cheniere’s Corpus Christi liquefaction project is currently under construction and presently consists of Trains 1-3, three LNG storage tanks, two marine berths, and associated facilities.Under the Stage 3 expansion project, Cheniere intends to add two 5 mtpa liquefaction trains, as well as a fourth LNG tank, to expand the Corpus Christi project.Cheniere anticipates that construction of the Stage 3 project will commence by 2017, with exports commencing as early as 2021.[mappress mapid=”16366″]LNG World News Staff; Image: Bechtellast_img read more

Two solicitors awarded Queen’s Counsel status

first_imgJust two solicitors were among the 120 Queen’s Counsel appointments announced by the Lord Chancellor today, while three high-profile solicitors were awarded honorary silk. The successful solicitor applicants were David Price, founder of London media law firm David Price Solicitors & Advocates, and Timothy Taylor, litigation and dispute resolution partner at City firm SJ Berwin. Five solicitors applied, with a 40% success rate. In the previous round, only one solicitor QC was appointed, from 10 solicitor applicants. Overall, 48% of the 251 individuals who applied for silk were successful. They included 27 women (two-thirds of the 41 who applied), up on the 20 appointed in 2009/10. Twelve of the new silks were from an ethnic minority (60% of the 20 who applied); two had a declared disability, and one was an employed advocate. QC selection panel chair Dame Joan Higgins said ‘Relatively few female advocates are putting themselves forward for consideration for QC. ‘But the markedly higher success rate for women applicants this year should send a positive signal to all suitably qualified women advocates, whether barrister or solicitor.’ Meanwhile honorary silk status was awarded to Geoffrey Bindman, founder of London firms Bindmans: Monty Raphael, former senior partner at London firm Peters & Peters; and Stuart Popham, former senior partner at magic circle firm Clifford Chance, in recognition of their contribution to the law outside the courtroom. This was the fifth round of the new appointments made under the revised arrangements introduced in 2005.last_img read more