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
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.