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Top Hats and Baseball Caps: Old vs New Estates in the Battle for London

Hogan Lovells hosted the Reading Real Estate Foundation Breakfast Forum (RREF) on 8 December 2016. RREF is a registered charity that provides support for real estate and planning education at the University of Reading.

The event featured presentations by:

• Alison Nimmo, Chief Executive at The Crown Estate;
• Craig McWilliam, Chief Executive at Grosvenor Britain & Ireland; and
• Peter Freeman, Director at Kings Cross Argent.

The topic discussed was: Top Hats and Baseball Caps: Old vs New Estates in the Battle for London.

Alison Nimmo gave a brief summary of The Crown Estate along with a history of its formation.  Alison went on to discuss what she believes to be key elements of successful estate management.  These included taking an active and long term approach to management and development and ensuring a balanced mix of uses and tenants.

Craig McWilliam also focussed on what he believes to be important factors of successful estate management.  Chris reiterated Alison’s points, but also commented on the importance of creating neighbourhoods to attract people to both live and work within estates.

Peter Freeman outlined his views on the advantages of being a new estate over an old estate.  These included the ability to include modern architecture and large modern floor plates in buildings, a greater control over pedestrianisation and a varied use of the public realm.   Peter also commented on the advantages of being an old estate, such as the established brand of these estates and the classical period architecture of their buildings.

Key themes to emerge from all presenters were the importance of taking a long term view to estate management and planning and to create estates which are a magnet for talent and investment.