DCSIMG

Property People

  • by Gary Smith Managing director of Sheffield-based developer Finnegans
 

What are the prospects for the property sector in Yorkshire and Humber?

The upsurge in investment activity within the region has been well documented in the first quarter of the year and we can testify to this having completed deals on properties within our own portfolio in recent weeks. The increase in activity is welcome news for the property industry and generates optimism across the broader local business community. Diminishing stock levels, particularly in the industrial sector, should encourage the need for new developments to meet future higher demands. Whilst the effects of this may be gradual, it can only be good news for the sector.

What is the best project you have been involved in?

I always find working for the same clients more than once is enjoyable as it proves their satisfaction and furthers the working relationship. A great example of this is the two projects for Sheffield College - Hillsborough College and then Sheffield City College which is a pioneering green scheme. Both colleges were complex in their own ways but they are both thriving locations for further education.

What is your favourite building in the region and why?

The Winter Gardens set in the Peace Gardens in the centre of Sheffield is a particular favourite of mine and has to be one of the most attractive buildings in the city as well as a very good focal point for the residents and visitors of Sheffield.

If you could change one thing to improve the property industry in this region, what would it be?

I know that this is a popular gripe but I have to say that I would abolish rates on empty properties – enough said.

Who has inspired you?

At the risk of sounding clichéd, I am inspired by JF Finnegan. I joined the firm 25 years ago now and the quality of management and staff has always been of an exceptionally high standard. My colleagues understand not only what our clients’ requirements are, but also the needs and ethos of our company and quite often the two are interlinked.

 

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