Concepts, Barcelona

15 March 2015 – 6:23 am


Casa Danone in Barcelona is striking and on message. Coming back to the roots of this now global chain. With cool modern lines, the location suits the exclusive area of Diaganol and Francesc Masia.

Opened 90 years after the founding of Danone in Barcelona, the low cost healthy eating restaurant is complemented by a ‘yoghurteria’.

Turnmill, London

9 January 2015 – 8:52 am

Turnmill 1

Iconic building in London’s Farringdon is almost live. Built by McLaren for developers Derwent London, the 70 500 square foot development will be a mixture of office and retail. Pre-lets have been secured.

Turnmill 2

Sound of Porsche

11 December 2014 – 8:12 am


Porsche brings the sound experience from the US to London’s Westfield. Nice idea but the idea needs further thought and execution.


Tesla Drives Onwards

21 October 2014 – 6:19 am

Tesla A

US startup backed by Elon Musk of PayPal fame continues its UK roll out. Recently opened near London’s Gatwick Airport, this former Mercedes site offers a full Tesla showroom and service centre. With a mixed estate of retail units and more conventional auto style dealerships, Tesla is keen to shake up the traditional private vehicle market with its direct to customer approach.

The Supercharger project which runs alongside the site roll-out, offers Tesla customers free charge ups, and locations currently number eight across the UK.

Tesla B

Sporting Legacy

10 August 2014 – 6:42 am

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Global sporting events have always been about much more than just sport. Think worldwide media attention, urban re-generation, business opportunities and unprecedented positive PR.

Two years on from the hugely successful London 2012 Olympic Games, the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, as the area is now known, has been opened to the public for leisure and sporting activities. Naysayers usually like to point to the headline cost of these attention grabbing projects. However the financial return has been proven to have a very long tail. Look at Barcelona post the 1992 Olympic Games. It is often voted one of the best cities in the world and is now one of Europe’s most visited places.

On a more local level, the recently completed Yorkshire based Grand Depart element of the 2014 Tour France has left many mementoes in its wake and a wave of enviable publicity for the region. Similarly the just wrapped up Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, saw the city perform well on the big screen, with the financial viability of the scheme still to be calculated up.

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The market is hotting up!

30 July 2014 – 1:08 pm

PR Week reports…

MHP owner Engine set to confirm £100m sale to Lake Capital

Engine Group, the owner of PR firms MHP Communications and Mischief and ad agency WCRS, is set to confirm its sale to private equity group Lake Capital later today.

Yorkshire Post, 17th July 2014

17 July 2014 – 6:01 am

Article on AMC Network’s latest activities…

THE HEAD of a property firm which has £1bn to spend on commercial assets believes the Tour de France has helped to put Yorkshire on the map for UK and international property investors.


Xavier Adam, managing director of AMC Network UK, said the company was bidding on three or four big deals in Leeds as investors turned their attention to UK regions.

Mr Adam, who grew up in Harrogate, said: “A year ago it was hard because there wasn’t a lot of interest in the North from investors but suddenly there was a tipping point.

“Tour de France really helped to put Yorkshire out there with all the great publicity.

“A lot of people in the South and overseas didn’t really know about the North unless they had been to university in one of the cities but now they are interested in what it has to offer.”

AMC Network UK looks for tenanted properties across the industrial, office, healthcare and retail sectors for its clients. It works with about 20 big investors, including a handful of regular clients.

About 85 per cent of investors it works with are based overseas. Mr Adam said investors from Asia, including Malaysia, Singapore and China, were currently driving the market, overtaking North America.

The £1bn the company has to spend is from three different investors. About £200m will be spent in Western Europe in Spain, Italy, France and Germany. About half of the remaining money will be invested in UK regions.

The company, which is headquartered in London but has about 30 staff across the globe, is currently considering six or seven properties between £20m-£30m in Yorkshire.

“Yorkshire is very big for our investors at the moment,” said Mr Adam. “It’s a big vote of confidence for the region.”

“At one stage we mainly dealt with offices but we are now finding more value in retail, industrial and distribution centres. Healthcare is also a new thing for us.”

Mr Adam said the investment market was busy but believed the scale of activity had been hyped. “A lot of funds are interested in the regions but there is still a lot of hype.

“There is a lot of activity in the market but it’s not moving as quickly as many would portray. But it’s still another world to where we were three years ago.”

He added: “It is hard to make a profit in central London so international investors are prepared to look at the regions, particularly big cities like Leeds and Sheffield.”

Mr Adam believes the property investment market will cool down a little over the next year following a frenzy of activity in the last eight or nine months.

“Some vendors have unrealistic expectations about international money flooding in,” he said. “These people have money but they aren’t stupid. They will pay a fair price but they aren’t going to be ripped off.

“It’s a good thing because the market needs a reality check and tenants need to find the money from somewhere when their rent goes up.”

He added: “I don’t think the market will overheat but the London market will slow down and everything else will follow.

“The commercial investment market will slow down slightly but not collapse. Long-term holders of property are thinking it’s a good time to sell at the moment.”

Going Wild

13 July 2014 – 11:03 am



Spending much time on new sites, it is hard to miss the wild planting which has crept in to fashion. Low maintenance and a lack of required watering make sense for this modern approach to communal and council run gardens . Being first notably present in any volume around the 2012 Olympic Games site in East London. The trend seems to have now migrated to the centre of town and this new upmarket development by Berkeley Homes at One Tower Bridge, which is pictured here, is a good example of bringing wild flower to a larger community.



Canterina 55

12 July 2014 – 11:02 pm



On the news of yet another buy out in the restaurant sector, Pizza Express to China’s Hony Capital for £900 million, an Italian backed eatery opens in London’s City fringe. Once not quite the City and a warehousing district, recently built City Point is now a mecca of offices and living right by Barbican. Serving quality Italian express food in informal surroundings, the plan is to build out the Canterina 55 concept across the UK.


The Festival of Speed 2014

27 June 2014 – 3:18 pm


It is that time of year again for the The Goodwood Festival of Speed (FoS). Celebrating its 21st birthday, the event has become a fixture on many an enthusiast’s calendar. Innovating each year with new themes, an updated major art work on the front lawn and an ever growing crowd.

Attracting guests from around the world, the FoS manages to bring in major names of the motorsport and entertainment worlds, in addition to thousands of paying guests.

Drawing a high volume of column inches, Goodwood House has events such as the FoS to thank for it not being yet another crumbling damp pile. But, a highly successful business and family seat. In the words of British born entrepreneur Richard Branson, “the Fos is one of the most successful events to have been invented in the last 50 years.” Increasingly sell out weekends each year are testament to this.