Insider’s 2012 Property Awards recognised the developments that will shape Wales and the hard-working advisers and developers who make deals and buildings happen.
The most impressive property deal in Wales in 2011/12 concerned a building that has been commissioned, let and sold – but has not even been built. Admiral’s planned central Cardiff headquarters scooped Deal of the Year at the Wales Property Awards, despite the fact that the hoardings have only just gone up around the David Street site.
Why did this deal capture the hearts of the award judges? Well, for one thing, it’s big: the biggest single letting of office accommodation in Wales during the year. It cements the presence of the Admiral Group, the only FTSE 100 company In Wales, at the heart of the capital. And It pushes forward regeneration of a tired-looking comer of the city centre, just behind the new St David’s shopping centre.
The fact that the prize went to a building of the future sends out a positive message about Wales – that we like to look plan ahead and have good times ahead of us. This is a country where you can do business. It’s also a country where, however tough the economic conditions, the construction and property industries are working hard to create places to live, work and have fun In the future.
The speaker for the evening was Tony Nash, director of Stoford, the developer behind Admiral’s office – who was invited before the entries were judged. He highlighted trends such as occupiers consolidating into fewer offices, and more pleasant office spaces with break-out areas, views and natural light. City centre locations. he said, provided more of the features that employees appreciate, such as shops, restaurants and public transport. He concluded: “It’s all about the staff.”
Nash provided a positive message on an evening when compere Gyles Brandreth set a blistering pace with his selection of quick-fire gags.