James Lidgate, Milligan’s Head of Residential spoke recently as part of the Housing and Built to Rent conference hosted by Built Environment Networking. Alongside other panellists, James placed importance on ‘the art of collaboration’ which is needed to create enduring, mixed-use places. “The arms race to maximise floor space in single-use assets is over” said James, “We are now creating places of experience, not just places where people transact – and they are not easy to deliver. That’s why we need collaboration and bravery to make difficult decisions and compromise with customer experience being the end goal.”

James also talked about the home as the new, ultimate mixed-use space as demands rise for the space, function and form to satisfy work, leisure and entertainment needs.

The Milligan Spain team is now actively searching for its next project, after completing a five-year period of asset management, at Zubiarte in Bilbao. This was preceded by a €8 million refurbishment, concluding in 2018, which transformed Zubiarte itself and saw some exciting stores and restaurants openings, such as the IKEA concept store. During our involvement Zubiarte has helped several organisations, a standout initiative was the support we gave to the Walk on Project. We are very proud to report that despite Covid-19 the centre maintained full occupancy and before restrictions was reporting a +40% uplift in footfall and had tripled its net operating profit.

Also we are very pleased to say that Zubiarte now is important to the fabric of the city of Bilbao as a destination.

We’re immensely proud to have had such an impact on a destination so important to the city of Bilbao and its community. We wish its owners ASG the best of luck with this fantastic asset and Bilbao icon.

Access the report here

2020 has been a year of uncertainty and hardship as each of us has navigated our own personal unknown within a world responding reactively to the pandemic.  We’ve had to accept continuous changes restricting our social connection and sense of freedom. We’ve adapted our working and personal lives to follow new safety guidelines, restrictions and constraints.  It’s been natural to focus on the difficulties and limitations of this new ‘normal’.

But also, for many, these new ways of living and working have prompted discussion and exploration of new wider possibilities, and conversations at Milligan have turned to looking forward to consider how we use this experience, with a realisation we can do things differently, devise innovative strategies, discover longer-term transformations that might continuously evolve, encouraging new thinking, innovation and a change of purpose.

How should we as developers and strategic asset managers be adapting as we make critical decisions on our projects that will help to shape the future of the communities in which we work. What do these changes mean for those high streets and shopping centres that are failing today and how best do we redevelop and repurpose them.

At Milligan we have always had a fascination with social trends and a passion for listening to and understanding our customers. It’s why we’ve teamed up with our friends at Trajectory to help us navigate the path beyond the current uncertainties. We’ve worked closely with them for over twenty years during which time they helped us define and evolve our Creative Trade concept utilising our insights from owning and operating Camden Lock Market. Trajectory’s ability to identify and track trends is a powerful and important tool in helping us ensure our future developments are both relevant and successful for years to come.

Trajectory don’t claim to have all the answers, but they can point with confidence to the direction of travel, highlighting significant social trends that will shape the nature of our towns and cities. The current pandemic has reminded us that the world’s great challenges such as climate change, a fairer society or defeating a virus can only be solved by working in collaboration. It is with this in mind and by playing our own small part in shaping the future of our towns and cities that we share the findings of this report. Our hope is that the observations and understanding of this report will help us all consider how we better meet the needs of the society we serve.

John Milligan, CEO Milligan

Click the following link to take you to the report:

The Deregulation of Life and Real Estate – Report Dec 2020

Milligan are forever navigating our way through these testing times, embracing the challenges of this new virtual environment.  Paul Hanegraaf, our Creative Navigator, recently took part in the latest in a series of podcasts sponsored by Barton Willmore.  Recorded remotely, this variety of relaxed discussions with friends from across the development industry investigates the prophesy of social value in development and challenges which methods are most effective through a lively and engaging conversation.  The podcast is live on Spotify now. #Letsfindaway