There are big reunions (think the dire ITV show of the same name) and then there are Big Reunions (think Led Zeppelin, The Who… Take That).
The new collaboration between industry legends Godfrey Bradman and Sir Stuart Lipton - who last worked together on the ground-breaking Broadgate development in the City in the 80s - definitely falls into the latter camp (the property equivalent of Simon & Garfunkel, if you will).
As we reveal this week, Bradman - who enjoyed such a run of success back in the day, he was nicknamed God - has set up a new company with Sir Stuart as director, with a view to making a splash in the residential sector.
Bradman’s been threatening a comeback for a while - making a failed bid for Battersea Power Station in 2012 - but has garnered more headlines in recent times for a special Superman comic he commissioned for his son’s bar mitzvah (which reportedly went up for auction last November in Croydon of all places… no, it’s not currently located in Property Week Towers).
The news that the property tycoon is now poised to return, with the backing of his old development partner Sir Stuart, comes just weeks after Raymond Mould threw his hat into the PRS ring and surely cements its status as the big property play du jour.
I can already envisage the beaming smiles on senior industry faces as they excitedly ponder what this could mean for the UK market. These, after all, are the two men who arguably made the City’s property market what it is today, who indeed played a major part in making London the financial capital of the world, by bringing in new, speedier build technologies, larger floor plates etc at Broadgate.
Even if they’re not investing billions, could they do the same for the private residential market a quarter of a century later?
There’s another reason the industry will be pleased. Bradman and the then-plain Lipton were the property poster boys of Thatcher’s Britain and their reunion correlates with something of a renaissance of old Tory values, what with the booming housing market, the privatisation of Royal Mail and a Conservative leader’s attempts to appeal to the right, these days more likely to be found in the ranks of UKIP.
Their return will be seen as a sign the good old days are back - hopefully minus the big hair, yuppies and brick-sized phones (although ominously, the new iPhone is going to be larger).
They are not the only members of the old guard turning their attentions to new property opportunities.
Freshwater, which has happily sat on its Berwick Street asset for 50 years, has made a flurry of acquisitions that could unlock a £300m mixed-use scheme at the tired end of Oxford Street. Like others - although bizarrely, more foreign than UK investors, according to one senior industry figure I was chatting to this week - they have woken up to the huge potential represented by Crossrail and made sure they have got in there in good time.
Of course, the big question if they do develop a scheme featuring big-box retail, offices and luxury apartments (there’s that resi element again), is whether one of its tenants, gentlemen’s club Angels, owned by another 80s institution Peter Stringfellow, would be willing to leave. After all, it’s just a guess, but I imagine Freshwater would rather have tenants that sell laptops than lap dancing…