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[reposted from Sep 2012] "Hammerson CEO David Atkins tells Property Week about £2-billion development pipeline"

"The Hammerson strategy is not only driven by property fundamentals, but by retail fundamentals. [And free parking?]

[We'll ignore the 'outperformance' rodomontade next bit. Get on with it.]

"... No-one ever said development was easy and, if it was [sic], we would all be doing it. At best, you have to factor in a fairly stagnant marketplace. At worst, it could decline. The outlook is uncertain. ["There may be trouble ahead, but while there's moonlight and music,..." - David Atkins in 'Strictly Come Shopping'.]

"Consumers are spending money - but only if you offer them the right format. Gone are the days when you had a site [Brent Cross Cricklewood], you built it, and it would work. [Yep, gone are those days. Now it's a 'living bridge'. Or not. Now it's a multiplex cinema. Or not.]

"The time when every retail centre performed broadly the same is no more. Now it's down to micro-location, your skills as a manager, the leisure mix, catering and the entertainment.

"You have to think what the consumer wants, and build these preferences into the longer term.

"We are investing £500m into retail, and the plan is to grow and develop the portfolio through extensions, developments and acquisitions. Including our plans in Croydon, Leeds and Brent Cross [dropping some previous commitments to Barnet, Brent, Camden, GLA, TfL, DfT, TLA, and EA, and with bombproof new environmental, retail and transport assessments, to avoid being slaughtered], we have a total retail investment pipeline of between £1.5bn and £2bn."

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