THERE has been little to celebrate in the property industry these past few years.
It used to be that there were Champagne-drenched receptions hosted by dancers in spangles launching a new office every week – in the good but bad old days. But things are, dare we say, starting to pick up.
The big brains at Scottish Widows Investment Partners (Swip) decided to celebrate the success of their investment at Hermiston Gait retail park – up in value by 20 per cent so far – by putting on a lunch featuring KFC and Krispy Kreme donuts. No, they weren’t trying to clog the arteries of their guests – in actual fact it was the arrival of those food purveyors on the park that has added a certain je ne sais quoi to its success.
Jones Lang LaSalle later celebrated with a cozy soiree for 200 of its closest friends and associates. The surprise guest of honour was Alan Campbell, the 2012 Olympic medallist who claimed bronze in the men’s single sculls. The charming athlete from Northern Ireland, whom the property firm has sponsored for seven years, has to focus on his next big event – Rio in 2016. But after that he laid clear his ambitions: “After Rio, I want a job.”
But the big event(s) is yet to come. On the same day, not one but two invites came around for the launch of Atria, next to the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC). The building is almost ready to open its doors, so there will be a spectacular launch in April – and then another in May for the EICC extension, which runs underneath. Ah, just in time! Our throats were nearly parched.
From India to New Zealand
AN INVITATION to sample the latest India pale ale (IPA) brewed by Argyll-based Fyne Ales took two of The Scotsman’s diarists back to an old drinking haunt, in the shape of Thomson’s Bar on Edinburgh’s Morrison Street, just round the corner from the offices of defunct financial rag Business AM.
Fyne Ales brewed eight beers as part of its IPA project last year and Muckle Flugga – named after one of Scotland’s most northerly lighthouses – is the first special brew of the year from the microbrewer, best known for tipples including Avalanche, Hurricane Jack and Vital Spark.
Sales director and industry veteran Rob Jenner described Muckle Flugga as “one for the hopheads” and he wasn’t wrong.
The IPA was made with riwaka, a hop from New Zealand that is no longer being exported – the first batch of the beer has already sold out, so keep your eyes peeled for the second brew, which is being released over the next fortnight.
Pigott lays down the law
Who said that all solicitors are grey-haired old men in suits? Well, whoever it was, Caroline Pigott from St Andrews-based Murray Donald is out to prove them wrong, having just been appointed to the Law Society of Scotland’s intellectual property law sub-committee.
Having only graduated with a master’s degree from Glasgow University in 2010, Pigott, 27, is the youngest member of the ten-member committee, which holds quarterly meetings in Edinburgh.