THING OF THE WEEK
End of an era… This week saw a well-known figure in Manchester’s agency world stride away from the corporate life after nearly 40 years in the city – property grandee Ken Bishop. Most of Manchester’s major office schemes were worked on at some point by Ken, and many of the city’s senior surveyors cut their teeth under his tutelage as graduates. Spending 35 years at DTZ/CushWake, Ken latterly worked at JLL, which must have been an interesting dynamic for recently-promoted office head Stephen Hogg, who trained under Ken early in his career. Thankfully Ken had time to forgive Stephen for the time he crashed his car. Good luck with your private clients Ken, although THING does wonder how long it will be before the Bish pulls a ‘Bob Dyson’ and enters the fray once again.
BRIDGING THE GAP… Hearty congratulations to the team behind the Ordsall Chord which is now in the running for the Stirling Prize, having secured a RIBA National Award this week. Designed and delivered by a team including BDP, Bam, Skanska, WSP, Mott MacDonald, Knight Architects, and Aecom among others, the Chord has already been inundated with awards, and the RIBA judges were no different in their effusive praise: “The final project brings local delight with the striking form of the new river bridge and a strong identity through its materiality and consistent detailing.” Best of luck to the team, although it’s not really for us to point out that the trains that pass over it are still late most of the time…
— Michael Ingall (@michaelingall) July 2, 2019
DEVELOPER TWEETS… One of the livelier Twitter feeds in the property scene is that of Allied London supremo Mike Ingall. Not for Ingall is the bland corporate statement, sales pitch or God forbid motivational gubbins, this feed is generally more playful and “real” than most. This week’s highlight was a glimpse of a project currently on-site atop the ABC Buildings. It looks like a rooftop pool, but it is in fact to be a play-deck, complete with sculptures befitting of the development’s swinging 60s ethos. With a couple of Airstream caravans to be used for meetings, the rooftop area was designed in-house and is set to be launched next spring. It should be one of the funkier event spaces in town – and indeed will look like a swimming pool from places such as 20 Storeys.
COLOURFUL CONSULTATION… Everyone loves a public consultation, don’t they? A great chance for us in the development community to meet Joe Public, to share a diverse range of views, and to have a civil chat about the benefits of building things like housing or offices to improve communities. Or at least, that’s how it should work. Spare a thought for the guys at Novo: not content with having threats to “have their throats slit” at another consultation last year, a consultation event around Brown Street in Hale this week equally attracted a few pleasantries. While a good few people turned up to have a rational debate and others to support the scheme, what we don’t want to hear is residents complaining about “coloured people”. Sometimes THING wonders why we all bother even holding public consultations at all…
INITIATIONS… A warm welcome to four members of staff at Spawforths’ development management and land promotion teams, with new arrivals from Barratt Developments, Leeds City Council, Hambleton Council, and a grad from the University of West England. Usually the first few weeks is spent getting to know the business and learning the ropes of your new role, but not so at Spawforths: you’re dropped straight in at the deep end with the dreaded staff away day. In this case it involved making giant masks from scrap materials at a creative arts project over in Farsley. Nothing like making a terrifying piece of art to get you settled into your new role.