20th December 2019
We made it! Despite a year of political uncertainty which has hung over the industry for the majority of the year, resulting in delayed investment decisions across the wider property industry, 2019 has been a year of firsts for Martin’s Properties. Our first industrial scheme acquisition, our first hotel investment, the appointment of our first Head of Development and the completion of our first development in Islington. There has been continued doom and gloom reported on the high street, however, our retail portfolio has maintained 100% occupancy through careful management and support to our customers. The recently re-launched Fulham Road Picture House, previously Cineworld, is a wonderful example of how retail and leisure occupiers can reinvent themselves to meet changes in consumer behaviour.
All of these firsts have greatly diversified our portfolio. The beginning of the year marked the launch of the King’s Road Partnership with Cadogan and local stakeholders. The King’s Road Partnership shows our commitment to the local community and heritage, which is where it all began for Martin’s Properties. We were proud sponsors of the Mary Quant exhibition at the V&A and the subsequent plaque unveiling on the King’s Road. Through the Partnership, many of our customers were able to participate in the expanded Chelsea in Bloom during RHS Chelsea Flower Show, which was undoubtedly the finest yet. Through the collective of the Partnership Christmas on the King’s Road has never looked better!
The appointment of Ross Walker-Love allows us to focus on releasing the potential of all of our assets through thoughtful and value add design. One such development opportunity which we are eagerly awaiting is the completion of our Old Church Street scheme which will complete in Q3 2020. Alongside Ross’s appointment, we were very proud to welcome industry stalwart Mike Hussey to the Board. Mike has added extra impetus and challenge at Board level as we continue to identify gaps in the market and wider opportunities.
As we look ahead to next year and entering into the next decade, we are cautiously optimistic. We have £32m of cash in the bank ready to deploy and whilst there are still many questions regarding Brexit, the first majority government for over a decade will undoubtedly bring market optimism and in turn investment confidence.