Congratulations to the team at Argent (pictured, with awards host Hugh Dennis) for picking up the award for most innovative development of the past 20 years for King’s Cross at the Property Awards.
I was first shown round the Granary building by Roger Madelin in 2003, and I remember being very impressed by the vision for an area that had been in decline for decades. At the time, I was also promoting a major development in Camden, so we regularly compared notes about overcoming a range of challenges. It is a great achievement to have already established King’s Cross as a highly successful place while construction continues, and it makes Argent a worthy winner of the award.
At Deloitte Real Estate, we were promoting the case for Liverpool One to win the award. Having spent over 15 years providing planning advice to Grosvenor, we are delighted to have been closely involved in helping to transform the city. Not only has Liverpool One introduced a world-class shopping centre that is extremely popular with visitors and created many thousands of jobs, but like King’s Cross it has been designed and undertaken in a way that enhances internationally important heritage. Both developments have demonstrated the value of working in close partnership with local authorities, and of making places that attracts people to visit time and again.
All the shortlisted developments demonstrate the need for patience when undertaking urban regeneration. At a time when we all want instant access to things, it is important to recognise that these types of projects generate huge challenges - one of which is to explain to local communities how long they have to wait for change to happen. I know the challenges all too well from my time at Battersea Power Station, and I hope that projects in Nine Elms will be on the shortlist for the next version of this significant award.
Jeremy Castle, director, central London planning, Deloitte Real Estate