Top commercial projects honoured at awards

First-time entrant HFD Group, which has over 20 years' experience operating in Scotland's commercial property sector, walked away with the top prize at the fourth annual Scottish Property Awards, held at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange on Thursday.

More than 700 guests dressed up for the occasion as the best new commercial buildings in Scotland were revealed.

Glasgow-based HFD Group impressed the judging panel with its work on City Park 1 in Aberdeen which saw 215,000sq ft of office space pre-let to Wood Group and its Glasgow pre-let to Morgan Stanley, as well as the development of the EcoCampus at Hamilton which was the UK’s first speculative carbon-neutral office development.

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“All those projects were relatively complex,” said Stephen Lewis, managing director at HFD Group. “There were challenges that we had to overcome – more than the standard challenges involved in putting these deals together – which I think impressed the judges.

“I think our property deal credentials speak for themselves but it’s always nice to be recognised by your peers. It was a great night. We were delighted to be part of it and to walk away with the top award.”

Also in Glasgow, Kelvin Hall went home with the Judges’ Award of Merit, but it was Edinburgh developments which claimed the most prizes.

Standard Life Investments’ development on the south side of St Andrew Square won Commercial Development of the Year, while the James Gillespie’s School Campus picked up two awards for Public Development of the Year and Architectural Excellence for a public building. New Waverley by Artisan Real Estate claimed the prize for City Regeneration of the Year and Castlebrae Business Park in Craigmillar was named Community Development of the Year.

Cushman & Wakefield was recognised as Leisure and Retail Agency Team following the company’s win in the category last year.

The firm completed more than 150 deals in 2016 including high-profile lettings to brands including Chisholm Hunter’s new flagship store in Princes Street in Edinburgh.

Stuart Moncur, head of national retail and occupier services at Cushman & Wakefield added: “We have also increased the number of retail parks we advise on to 17 and expanded the leisure side of our business significantly, securing premises for Miller & Carter in Edinburgh and Aberdeen and handling lettings for restaurant operators such as Nando’s and Burger King.”

An Individual Contribution award was presented to Martin Perry, director of TH Real Estate, for his role in bringing one of the largest multi-use city regenerations in Europe – Edinburgh St James – through planning to the commencement of construction last year. The project was recognised by the judges as a major milestone for the capital.

More recently, TH Real Estate snapped up the Omni Centre in Edinburgh for £75 million.

The winner of PMP Deal of the Year was decided by public vote and awarded to Dandara and LaSalle Investment Management for their collaboration in the sale of Forbes Place, Aberdeen to a major UK pension fund client of LaSalle. It was the first deal of its kind north of the border.

Gavin Wyley, managing director of Dandara in Scotland, said the deal represented a step-change in the delivery of private rental sector (PRS) accommodation in Scotland. “This deal enabled us to deliver 292 new homes of the highest standard in only 23 months, leading the way for institutional investment in Scotland’s growing PRS sector.”

Fiona Morton, who is chair of the judging panel and has just been appointed as non-executive chair at legal firm Gillespie Macandrew, congratulated the finalists and winners at the event, which was hosted by Scottish comedian Des Clarke and BBC Scotland news anchor Catriona Shearer.

Morton said: “Judging the competition is hard work but immensely rewarding for everyone involved as we celebrate all the achievements.”

Generous donations made on the night raised £15,000 for It’s Good 2 Give, the small cancer charity which is building a residential retreat on the shores of Loch Venachar in the Trossachs. National Park.

When complete, the Ripple Retreat will be gifted to the families of children who have cancer as a place where they can escape from the stress of the ward.

The charity’s founder Lynne McNicoll expects to welcome the first families to the retreat in June and updated guests on the final preparations.

The full list of winners of the Scottish Property Awards 2017:

Architectural excellence (public buildings) sponsored by Wolffe: James Gillespie School Campus, Edinburgh (JM Architects); Highly commended: ORIAM, Heriot Watt, Edinburgh (Reiach & Hall).

Architectural excellence (commercial buildings) sponsored by Callprint: Ineos HQ, Grangemouth (Michael Laird Architects); Highly commended: Quartermile 4, Edinburgh (Quartermile Developments and Foster + Partners).

City regeneration project sponsored by Anderson Strathern: New Waverley, Edinburgh (Artisan Real Estate Investors).

Community development project sponsored by The Scotsman: Castlebrae Business Centre, Edinburgh (Cre8te Opportunities).

Development of the year (commercial) sponsored by Ryden: 3-8 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh (Standard Life Investments and Peveril Securities).

Development of the year (public buildings) sponsored by BRE Scotland: James Gillespie’s Campus, Edinburgh (Hub South East & City of Edinburgh Council) .

Student accommodation development sponsored by RSM: Holyrood North Residence Hall, University of Edinburgh (Balfour Beatty Investments, JM Architects and Oberlanders Architects); Highly commended: Willowbank Student Accommodation (Empiric and Susan Stephen Architects).

Office agency team sponsored by New Waverley: JLL.

Industrial agency team sponsored by Peace Recruitment: Ryden.

Investment agency team sponsored by Bank of Scotland: JLL.

Leisure and retail agency team sponsored by Santander: Cushman & Wakefield.

Property funding team sponsored by Weightmans: Royal Bank of Scotland.

Judges’ award of merit sponsored by Trident: The Kelvin Hall, Glasgow.

Rising Star sponsored by Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers: Reeder Ness.

Deal of the year sponsored by PMP: Dandara and LaSalle Investment Management for Forbes Place, Aberdeen – deal team, Dandara/LaSalle Investment Management.

Individual contributor sponsored by Redpath: Martin Perry, director TH Real Estate.

Scottish property company of the year sponsored by Royal Bank of Scotland: HFD Group.