ULI UK – Reflections on 2015, Glimpses in to 2016 – Development Forum


ULI’s Development Forum aims to give ULI members access to an intimate examination of the leading urban regeneration schemes in the UK. Initially, we’re focusing on the major regeneration schemes in London because of the sheer scale and complexity of those that are now under construction.

Because ULI is not a lobbying organisation, its ‘Chatham House Rules’ style of engagement allows ULI members to exchange fresh ideas, to discuss challenges and compare experiences amongst like-minded peers.

We set up the site tours to enable members to get a “touch it, see it and feel it” view of these schemes.

In 2015, the Development Forum turned its attention to Kings Cross.

38 leading developers, investors and advisors gathered at Argent’s headquarters in Kings Cross to learn about the financing challenges and solutions in delivering this major regeneration project in north London.

The key lessons learned were:

Timing is everything

The importance of a flexible master plan that can be delivered in phases

Selling plots to recycle capital to fund infrastructure and buildings

Seizing pivotal “tipping point” opportunities as they arise; e.g. securing Central St Martin’s College as an anchor tenant and Google as a major office occupier

Cash is king

At the front end, the importance of using initial capital to create maximum impact

Unlocking plots for development / sale

The importance of place making

Changing perceptions by creating the right environment

Meantime uses and fun

Quality Estate Management that really adds value to occupiers

Ongoing careful management of perceptions

Recognising Progress

The scheme is 30% Complete

Major projects go through phases

The evolution continues as Kings Cross becomes a new London district

In 2016, we’re planning to hold two more similar events, further details of which will follow early in the New Year.


Anthony Gill

Development Director, Quintain

ULI UK Development Forum Co-Chair


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