1. Lathwood joins Landmark Investments Group

    Today Landmark Investments Group announced the appointment of David Lathwood as non-executive chairman.

    David joins Bolton based Landmark Investments Group, the ground rent specialist, to provide strategic advice and guidance as the company expands its activity, particularly looking at new opportunities in the residential and commercial sectors.

    David is Lead Director of the North West for international commercial property consultancy JLL, where he is responsible for 175 professionals in the region.  He is a member of the JLL UK Executive Board, which he joined after the £200m acquisition of King Sturge where he was the Managing Partner of the UK Regions. Over his 30yr+ career he has overseen many major development and regeneration projects in the region, most recently the Carrington and Alderley Park sales.

    David Lathwood said:  “I’ve known Mark for quite some time and I have been very impressed with his drive and ambition for Landmark Investments Group.  I look forward to lending my knowledge, support and advice to Mark and his team as they build on the already successful core of the business.”

    Mark Hawthorn, director, Landmark Investments Group said:  “Having worked with David over the years, his input and integrity have always proved invaluable to us.  We are advanced with a number of projects which will create new parts of the group, which we expect to formally announce later in the year.  David brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to Landmark and I know he will play an important role in the company as we move forward.”

    Established in 2000, Bolton based Landmark Investments Group main area of activity is the acquisition and management of residential and commercial ground rents. The activity covers Landmark’s own growing portfolio as well as deals for a number of retained clients.

    The news about David’s appointment was covered in Manchester Evening News, Place North West and Move Commercial

  2. Alumno breaks ground in Durham

    On Thursday 28 January Alumno Developments and Kier held a special ground breaking ceremony to formally mark the start of building work on the new student accommodation development at the site of the former New College Durham at Nevilles Cross.

    The scheme will provide rooms for 418 students and is designed by Howarth Litchfield Partnership.  The red-brick 1900s-built Neville House will be converted into 227 bedrooms, while the neighbouring Sheraton House will be demolished and a new 191-bedroom block built on the site.

    David Campbell, managing director, Alumno Developments said:  “Sheraton Park is in a fantastic location and is close and accessible to several of the colleges at Durham University.  We are very pleased to not only bring Neville House and this significant site back into use but also reinvigorate and sensitively integrate the buildings into the surrounding residential area.  We’ve identified there is a real need for bespoke student accommodation in Durham and we can really address this at Sheraton park, it’s great to be on site.

    “Specific focus is going to ensure we deliver a high grade parkland area, providing a large green open space with feature planting which will include benches and informal seating for everyone within the new community to enjoy.  With all our developments, it is very important to us that we engage early and bring along the local community and, we hope, improve local facilities as well as providing high quality homes for students.”

    Brian McQuade, managing director, Kier said:  “It’s good to formally mark the start of work on site at Sheraton Park.  It’s an excellent scheme and we are looking forward to delivering it.  We’re in close contact with the local community and will update residents regularly as the work progresses.

    Mark Bell, Sheraton Park Residents Association, said:  “We are very pleased to see the building work beginning on site.  We’ve had many discussions with Alumno and Kier about how the building site will be run and operated.  They have both been very understanding and we look forward to welcoming our new neighbours.”

    It is expected Sheraton Park will be completed for the autumn term of 2017.  The new facilities will cater for a mixture of undergraduates, post-graduates, returning students and some fellows, and will include a mix of en-suite bedrooms, studios and accessible bedrooms. In addition, there will be a main reception, large communal common rooms, management facilities, cycle racks and a laundry.

    Alumno Developments, established in 2006, partner with universities, colleges and other stakeholders to provide high quality living space for over 4,000 students across the UK including London, Birmingham, Norwich, Glasgow and St Andrews.

    Alumno deliver distinct and sensitive designs, carefully engaging with local residents to integrate their developments for the benefit of the existing community.

    The Durham Times ran the news about the ground breaking event.

  3. OBI Property appoints two to team

    OBI Property has announced Oliver Thomas and Mamad Majedi have joined the building consultancy team taking the number of people employed at the Manchester based firm to 18.

    The building consultancy team at OBI Property is working on a number of major project management and construction schemes including: refurbishing 175,000 sq ft of office space at 30 Brown Street; 73 – 75 Mosely Street and 79 Mosely Street for Boultbee Brook; 65,000 sq ft at St James’s House for Tesco Pension Fund and a 70,000 sq ft office fit-out for rentalcars at Sunlight House.

    Oliver will specialise in project management and contract administration while Mamad will be responsible for monitoring and auditing on-site construction activity across OBI’s building and fit-out schemes.

    A chartered commercial building surveyor, Oliver was formerly a director at CBRE having spent four years with the firm, previous to that he was at GVA Bilfinger for seven years.  He has extensive experience in advising occupiers, landlords and investors in a wide range of commercial projects and transactions.

    Oliver delivered over 100,000 sq ft of occupier fit out work in the North West in 2015, won a BCO award for New Balances Head office, Birchwood and completed the first fit out project at the award winning Soapworks development at Media City.  Oliver has also worked on complex building surveys and has experience of managing large portfolio due diligence projects.

    Oliver said:  “I am thrilled to join the team at OBI Property. I’ve admired the growth of the company and the calibre of the projects over the past six years and I am looking forward to working on a number of market leading projects.”

    Mamad will take a hands on approach to all on-site construction works by monitoring and auditing projects on a daily basis, ensuring any issues are identified immediately and dealt with to make sure OBI projects are delivered on time and to the highest quality.

    Mamad said: “It is great to be part of the OBI team. We are working on some very exciting schemes and it is fantastic to be given the opportunity to contribute towards the successful delivery of these projects for our clients.”

    Dominic Horridge, director, OBI Property said:  “It’s fantastic to welcome Oliver and Mamad to the team. They are both very experienced in their fields and their knowledge is second to none.  I am sure they will both make excellent additions to the team as we deliver our projects to the highest of standards.”

    The news about Oliver’s and Mamad’s appointments was covered by The Businessdesk, Insider and Place North West

  4. Darius Baniabassian joins OBI Property

    Darius Baniabassian has joined the workplace consultancy team at Manchester based OBI Property.

    Darius is a highly experienced interior designer and has worked with major architecture practices including Arif & Bintoak, one of largest architectural consultants in the UAE and Sheppard Robson.

    He joins OBI from Fairhursts Design Group where he led a number of landmark workplace interiors projects for R&D institutions, and advanced technology companies such as the Stoller Biomarker Discovery Centre for the University of Manchester and Thales Group UK Headquarters in Reading.

    OBI started its workplace consultancy department four years ago and has continued to expand the team.  Stand out jobs include the recent fit out at 35 Fountain Street and the award winning fit out for  The team has recently advised Kuits and urbanbubble on the fit out of their new offices.

    Darius said:  “I am thrilled to be joining the OBI workplace consultancy team and to have the opportunity to work on some really interesting design projects.

    “I am passionate about delivering exciting conceptual spaces that fit the needs of those who occupy them.  I believe that commercial interior design is not just about creating nice places to work in, it is the understanding how people function within a space and tailoring it to enhance both their working and social behaviour.  There is no doubt technology has a central role to play in the future of how offices will look and function.”

    The workplace consultancy team at OBI Property is working on a number of major projects including: the design of the NCC Group’s new 60,000 sq ft HQ in the XYZ Building, Spinningfields, which promises to be one of the most technologically advanced offices in the country; as well as LJ Group’s Albert Estate, where a collection of five buildings will provide a stunning workspace portfolio.

    Will Lewis, Director of OBI Property said: “It’s fantastic to welcome Darius to the team at OBI Property.  He has an impressive track record and his skills will bolster our expanding design consultancy as we continue to disrupt the conventional approach to real estate by applying the OBI difference.”

    The news about Darius’s appointment was featured in Manchester Evening News, Place North West and Insider


  5. Planning for Alumno student accommodation scheme

    Alumno Developments has gained planning permission from Warwick District Council for its £15 million student accommodation scheme Grand Union Students, Althorpe Street, Leamington Spa.

    Working with Glenn Howells Architects, Alumno will bring life back to the waterfront of the Grand Union Canal in the heart of the Leamington Spa old town, opening up the area for the public to enjoy as well as providing much needed new, well-managed, bespoke student residences.

    A former BT storage facility will be redeveloped into two four storey buildings with 187 student bedrooms, while the ground floors will be communal areas looking out on to the canal.  The landscaping will welcome people through the development to access the canal side and tow path.

    David Campbell, managing director, Alumno Developments said:  “I am very pleased we have gained planning permission for Grand Union Students.  With all our developments, it is very important to us to bring along the local community and, we hope, improve local facilities as well as providing high quality homes for students.

    “We carried out extensive research which demonstrated that the need for student housing within Leamington Spa is growing year by year.  Just under 5,000 Warwick University students currently live in the town.  Not only will Grand Union Students improve the unmaintained canal side area, it will also bring significant economic benefits to the town and provide an alternative form of accommodation to students that might otherwise chose existing properties in residential areas as the University grows.”

    Alan McCartney, Associate, Glenn Howells Architects said:  “At Grand Union Students, Leamington Spa we have designed the new buildings and landscaping to complement the existing historic surroundings while opening up the canal side for use by all.  Gaining planning permission is an important step in helping to revitalise this important area.”

    Isaac Leigh, president, Warwick SU, University of Warwick said: “We are delighted with the decision and believe the new scheme is good for the local community and for students.  Many students prefer this type of purpose-built accommodation, and the new scheme should take some of the pressure off the local traditional housing stock. This is a very sensible, strategic decision.”

    The scheme will be managed by a leading student housing management provider and will have a full time staff presence who will be implementing a robust management regime so that local residents always have a point of contact.  Work is expected to start on site later this year.

    Alumno Developments, established in 2006, partner with universities, colleges and other stakeholders to provide high quality living space for over 4,000 students across the UK including London, Birmingham, Norwich, Glasgow and St Andrews.

    Alumno deliver distinct and sensitive designs, carefully engaging local residents to integrate their developments for the benefit of the existing community.

    The news was covered by the Leamington Observer and Architects Journal