A panel of developers, landlords, planners, architects and occupiers discussed the challenges and opportunities involved in placemaking in London

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Placemaking: an introduction

The days when a developer could simply develop an office building in isolation are long gone. Such an approach is no guarantee of success in today’s crowded real estate market. Instead, a holistic strategy is required. A diverse mix of occupiers and tenures, a high-quality public realm and a long-term vision can all help to achieve that much sought-after “sense of place’”.

The changing occupier mix in Victoria provides a clear illustration of Land Securities’ place-making vision in action. Historically dominated by government, Victoria is now home to an emerging hub of creative, media and digital industries. Fashion designers Tom Ford and Burberry have recently been joined in the area by luxury shoe brand Jimmy Choo, which has relocated to 123 Victoria Street. Channel 4 and Microsoft also call the area home, alongside new restaurants, such as the Royal Quarter Cafe from the Quarter Group.

Property Week and Land Securities invited a panel of experts to St James Theatre, which opened in September 2012, in the heart of Victoria. The panel of developers, landlords, planners, architects and occupiers discussed the challenges and opportunities involved in placemaking in London.

Our panel of experts

“In Victoria, the masterplan was started back in 2002/03. It’s taken all that time to get us to where we are today. We will keep going until 2019. You have to have a lot of money, willpower and a huge amount of drive to do that”
Colette O’Shea, head of development, London portfolio, Land Securities

“Heritage is such a huge draw to an area. It’s what stops it being a business park and makes it London. You have national landmarks on your doorstep”
Richard Howard, senior director, DTZ

“The very last thing we look at is the buildings. We start looking at a collection of streets and think about how they can be used. Think about the reason why somebody would want to come — it’s rarely because of the building”
Giles Clarke, former executive director, Grosvenor

David Atcherley-Symes, Retail leasing director, Land Securities
Tom Eshelby, Residential director, Land Securities
Kaela Fenn-Smith, Head of leasing, London portfolio, Land Securities
Lady Lucy French, Director of development, St James Theatre
Oliver Gardiner, Head of development management, London portfolio, Land Securities
Philip Hobley, Partner and head of West End offices, Knight Frank
Richard Kauntze, Chief executive, British Council for Offices
Debra Lehman-Smith, Design partner, LSM
Rosemarie MacQueen, Strategic director for the built environment, Westminster City Council
Steven Norris, Chairman, Soho Estates
Scott Parsons, Head of property, London portfolio, Land Securities
Lee Polisano, President, PLP Architecture
Ben Ridgwell, Asset management director, Land Securities
Doron Zilkha, Director, Quarter Group
Mike Phillips, Chair and acting editor, Property Week

Land Securities held this round table, chaired by Property Week acting editor Mike Phillips, on the morning of 3 May 2013 at St James Theatre, Victoria, London SW1 5JA. If you are interested in hosting or participating in future events, please contact Niki Kyriacou in Client Solutions on 07766 247 686 or email niki.kyriacou@propertyweek.com.

Produced by:

Client Solutions Property Week

In association with:

Land Securities