Yesterday, at MIPIM, I had the pleasure of listening to and meeting Andrew Flintoff.
The talk on the development of Manchester City centre and surrounding areas of Lancashire was certainly the busiest I have seen the Manchester Pavillion of MIPIM.
(Cruelly, the beachside Pavillion reserved for Manchester (arguably the best looking Pavillion at MIPIM) was flooded on Monday night meaning it was moved to the third floor of the main conference centre. But that didn’t effect the turnout.)
Andrew is obviously well known for his cricket and his big personality, he is hugely likeable. But, he wasn’t here on a jolly. This was a side of Andrew I’ve not seen so much of on TV shows. He clearly takes property development seriously, and not just the returns of yields but the legacy and the 'feel' of what he’s creating.
His company Logik Developments are extremely active in the North West and are about to embark on their first Manchester city centre Project.
During this extremely interesting talk he mentioned the desire to create something they can be "proud of both visually and in terms of quality". Developments which “speak for themselves” and which are in keeping with the traditions of the area they are based. Also, a strong desire to encourage families living in city centres and towns again is certainly there.
When speaking to me personally after the event about his new development in Manchester, he mentioned that it is somewhere he is thinking of relocating himself, yet people think he’s “mad” when he shares this.
Andrew told me how he relocated to a larger town himself because it offered more and he isn’t too interested in the leafy Cheshire towns such as Prestbury and Alderley Edge as much these days.
What he’s showing with his latest venture is a real care and love of the area and a passion to make a difference. Andrew often talks about spirit in terms of the desire and ability to make things happen. Until you’ve lived and worked in the region, I don’t think you realise what that actually means. But, it’s there and you can feel the spirit of property professionals in Manchester and the North West - things are definitely happening!!
I also asked Andrew about Gary Neville (whose recent plans for a skyscraper in the city centre has been shrouded in publicity) and how he feels being up against another sporting great in the property development world. He was very relaxed about it. Logik are looking to be low key. They are not particular vocal and I sense the limelight can stay on Gary Neville in this sense...
Be you a residential developer, one of our city’s universities, a local authority or contractor; working together to build a legacy that we can all be proud of has to be the goal.