In association with Experian Corpfin, Hill Dickinson and Roland Dransfield PR
1 / John Whittaker / Chairman / Peel Group / Development, retail, ports, airports, energy. Another exhilarating year of activity from the peerless and indomitable Whittaker. Gained planning consent from Communities Secretary Eric Pickles for the 15m sq ft Wirral Waters docklands development without a planning inquiry. Submitted the neighbouring Liverpool Waters application after a summer spent promoting the group to Chinese investors at the World Expo in Shanghai. Media City UK's first phase is nearing completion and the BBC arrives in 2011. Atlantic Gateway was the only private sector proposal in the UK for a local enterprise partnership, the new structure to replace regional development agencies. The Trafford Centre is in the throes of being acquired by Capital Shopping Centres for £1.6bn as Whittaker acts as a willing pawn in the takeover tussle between Simon Property Group and CSC. Peel Ports confirmed plans to build a new container terminal in the Mersey to handle larger ships. Peel Aiports sold a 65% stake to Vancouver Airport Services for £175m. The energy division is investigating the concept of a Mersey barrage and plans incinerators and wind farms in Cheshire and Trafford. At 68 Whittaker shows no sign of slowing down or handing over to his sons just yet.
2 / Phil Basten and Lynda Shillaw / Directors / Co-operative Group / Conglomerate. A joint listing was agreed by the judges for the head of banking, Basten, and the former estates boss, Shillaw, who joined Lloyds Banking Group in October but left a significant mark in Manchester. Basten oversees a 26-strong team with a loan book of £5bn, including £200m signed off this year. Projects assisted include Merepark's redevelopment of the Lewis's Building in Liverpool. Meanwhile, Shillaw masterminded the development of the Co-operative's new headquarters, which started on site in 2010 and will drastically improve 20 acres in the north of the city centre, a remarkable achievement for a corporate occupier that is not a developer. The 330,000 sq ft HQ boosted this year's Manchester office take-up hugely, accounting for around one quarter of the expected total for 2010.
3 / Matt Crompton / Joint managing director / Muse Developments. Formerly Amec Developments, Salford-based Muse is now part of the diverse Morgan Sindall group and has a development pipeline of 20m sq ft with an estimated end value of £4bn. Muse's year started with approval for the biggest application Salford has ever seen: English Cities Fund, a public-private partnership in which Muse is the lead developer, plans 2m sq ft of offices as well as 800 homes, extensive retail and leisure on 43 acres around Chapel Street. Work on highways and public realm started later in the year. In Liverpool, Muse/ECF are building the third and final office building at St Paul's Square in the new commercial district, due to complete in May 2011. Muse was among the losers in July when the North West Development Agency closed its books on pending funding applications, leaving a £20m gap for its Talbot Gateway business quarter in Blackpool. Expect a bid for support from the new Regional Growth Fund in 2011. Meanwhile, Muse has tweaked the development programme for Talbot Gateway and plans to start on the pre-let first phase comprising council offices and a foodstore. A trading statement by parent Morgan Sindall in December said Muse would turn a 'modest profit' this year.
4 / Mike and Chris Oglesby / Chairman and chief executive / Bruntwood / Office development and investment. The dominant Manchester landlord completed 55 deals in the city centre this year totaling 230,000 sq ft, around 25% of the total number of deals done across the market. Highlights included ADT 27,000 sq ft and Faber Maunsell 17,000 sq ft at 1 New York Street and Manchester City Council 25,000 at Elliot House. In South Manchester, Bruntwood accounted for 25% of the total take up, as well as 35% of the Salford Quays/Old Trafford market. On the development front Bruntwood was appointed on the former Royal Eye Hospital off Oxford Road to create 100,000 sq ft of bio-medical facilities with Manchester Science Parks. Bruntwood owns 1m sq ft in Liverpool and completed 31 out of the 57 deals done in the city centre this year, representing 68,000 sq ft or 33% of total floor space of deals done. On the investment front Bruntwood acquired Cotton House just off Deansgate in Manchester and also bought in Leeds and Birmingham. Always a big community supporter, Bruntwood completed a pledge to raise £500,000 for the Royal Manchester Children's hospital and will repeat its sponsorship of the Manchester International Festival in 2011. Turnover in 2009 was up 11.5% to £97.1m, boosting pre-tax profit 9.5% to £12.6m. Net asset value dipped slightly to £146m.
5 / Duke of Westminster / Chairman / Grosvenor / Development and investment. The £1bn Liverpool One transformed the city and was the region's standout property story of the previous two years. Judges felt the Duke had to remain high on the list in recognition of his pre-eminence as the nation's richest property player and for the potential of more developments to come closer to home for the Cheshire-dwelling multi-billionaire. Grosvenor Group reported a pre-tax loss of £235.8m in 2009, compared to £593.9m in 2008. Net asset value was down slightly at £2.4bn.
6 / Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan / Owner / Manchester City FC / Oil and football. The young – he turned 40 in November – Abu Dhabi sheikh is new to the list and was voted straight into the top ten by the Place 100 judges. A development agreement was signed in March between Manchester City FC, Manchester City Council and regeneration company New East Manchester to develop 200 acres around the club's Eastlands ground. The oil billionaire is expected to use his considerable spending power to parcel together further sites in the vicinity. Master-planning of a leisure-led scheme that could be worth as much as £1bn is underway.
7 / Matthew Weiner / Director / Development Securities. Formidable national developer with a reliable record for delivering major Manchester projects. Bought Europe's largest indoor events venue, the Manchester Evening News Arena, this year with JV partner Patron Capital Partners for £62.2m and embarked on a rapid growth strategy. Also submitted plans to redevelop the Square shopping centre in affluent and sensitive Hale Barns. DevSec has a joint venture agreement with Property Alliance Group to develop the Axis office tower over the canal at Deansgate Locks. At the end of 2009, DevSec achieved practical completion on the City Park redevelopment in Manchester, a 325,000 sq ft office-led, mixed use scheme which included a 147,000 sq ft pre-sale to Rainy City Properties.
8 / David Partridge / Joint chief executive / Argent Group. Partridge may be spending less time in the city as he focuses on the mammoth King's Cross redevelopment in London but he remains the face of the developer at gatherings of Manchester's top table. He is a non-executive director of the Manchester Airports Group, a director of Cityco, the Manchester city centre management Company and ex-chairman of the Piccadilly Partnership. Hopes are rising that Argent, with Greater Manchester Property Venture Fund, can get on site soon with the 270,000 sq ft One St Peter's Square office that was granted planning consent in February. Argent is in talks with KPMG over a pre-let. Smaller office building The Hive opened this year in the Northern Quarter and is now 40% full, with lettings to the Arts Council England and Studio Venues.
9 / Mike Ingall / chief executive / Allied London / Developer. Another busy year at Spinningfields, Ingall's synonymous Manchester city centre district which is finally rounding its offer beyond corporate glass boxes into a real community with residential, shops and street life. The office lettings keep coming at 3 Hardman Street to Marks & Spencer, Brown Shipley and Investec this year, and there was a first office tenant at No 1 The Avenue, law firm McGrigors taking a floor above Armani which opened in the autumn. The Avenue, the district's luxury retail strip, was at last unveiled with LK Bennett, Brooks Brothers, Oliver Sweeney, Nicky Clarke, Philip Stoner, Mulberry and Flannels now trading and All Saints and DKNY opening soon. The Alchemist restaurant and a Waitrose foodstore also opened. The continued success of outdoor cinema The Screen, a programme of events and the Christmas ice rink all help bring the area to life.
10 / Mark Harris / Head of UK assets / Carlyle / Finance. Having a global private equity house with $97bn of assets under management come shopping in Manchester once – buying offices at Argent's Piccadilly Place – was a result; seeing Carlyle come back for more is a real sign the city is going in the right direction. Turning around the former Colgate-Palmolive factory in Salford with development partner Abstract Nikal is a big ask. Carlyle certainly has the clout and money needed to deliver the Soapworks. Then hopefully it will return again.
11 / David Bridges / UK regions director / Segro / Industrial development. A relative newcomer to commercial property, Bridges came to Segro via Shell, Deloitte and Taylor Wimpey. When Segro pulled off the deal of 2009 by acquiring Brixton, he took on responsibility for all its UK assets outside of London and the Thames Valley including some £200m of estates in the North West. Whilst the sale of 500,000 sq ft to Fowler Welch at Heywood Distribution Park was their most notable deal, the main focus has been on turning around Brixton's multiple holdings in Trafford Park. With inherited vacancy peaking at one third, there was a lot to go at. However, a string of deals across all size ranges has seen that vacancy drop to around 23% during 2010, a strong start to a strategically important task.
12 / Tom Bloxham / Chairman / Urban Splash / Development and investment. The Manchester and Liverpool-based developer kept the wheels moving after a difficult 2009, launching 74 units through Rent to HomeBuy at Chips and 3Towers in Manchester. Its UK commercial portfolio reached 2m sq ft. Construction progressed at the residential Pattern House in Longlands, Stalybridge, which will complete next year. Ever the marketer, Splash ran a nationwide contest to find a colourful interim use for a vacant site in New Islington, east Manchester, watch that space in 2011. The award-hungry firm added Civic Trust, Northern Design and RIBA certificates to the collection.
13 / Steve Parry / Managing director / Neptune Developments. Judges recognised another solid year from a quietly prolific developer. Neptune started 2010 by announcing a partnership with BDO Stoy Hayward, administrators of Windsor Developments (Liverpool), to bring forward development proposals for a mothballed site in the Baltic Triangle area near the Albert Dock, though further detail is awaited. The 140,000 sq ft Merseytravel office building at Mann Island topped out and is expected to complete next July. In New Brighton, the revamped waterfront was handed back to Wirral Council as part of the ongoing regeneration of the seafront. In Knowsley, plans for Halewood town centre were approved, focused on an Aldi supermarket and bus interchange.
14 / Peter Jones / Chairman / Emerson Developments Holdings / Development and investment. Heads the family-owned developer of everything from shopping malls to offices and housing. The firm might not always court publicity but is hard to avoid around the region and beyond – it owns golf spas in Portugal. The vast estate was worth £640m according to the accounts for the year to May 2010. The Alderley Edge-based business turned over £158m and produced a pre-tax profit of £24.8m. The highest paid director last year, unidentified in the accounts, pocketed £883,000.
15 / Sarah Whitney / Head of national government and infrastructure / CB Richard Ellis / Surveying and consultancy. Another new entry going high into the list in recognition of the importance and potential of the Evergreen fund that Whitney is masterminding on behalf of the fund's lead partners; local authorities in Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Cumbria and Lancashire. The European Investment Bank-backed fund, will have a financing capacity of more than £300m, having secured the support of the Greater Manchester Pension Fund, the Lancashire County Pension Fund, and Barclays Bank. CBRE will be managing Evergreen on behalf of its partners, and expects the fund to make its first investments during the first quarter of 2011. A chartered accountant by training, much of the focus of Whitney's work is on financial structures of public private delivery partnerships. She sits on property committees for the CBI and British Property Federation.