Retail Insider, in partnership with Novomind, held its latest Zoom Cocktail Hour with Roger Madelin, head of Canada Water development at British Land, who provided his thoughts and insights on how major property developments are changing.

He recalled how working on the Brindley Place project in Birmingham in the early-90s – when he was a director at developer Argent – was revolutionary as it involved the first top-end restaurant to be included in a mixed-use development and also the first turnover-related rentals for retailers.

This innovative thinking, combined with lots of research and homework, led to Argent being selected in March 2000 to develop the high-profile and expansive King’s Cross site. Roger’s miles of cycling around the area researching the requirements and understanding the complexity involved won the day.

Roger related stories about how it took much hard work to attract tenants onto the site in the early days and how it ultimately became an incredibly successful development and completely rejuvenated the whole area around that part of North London.

However, he regards today’s challenges as being very different to before and highlighted how this will be reflected in his current major project – heading up the redevelopment of over 50 acres at Canada Water for British Land.

One feature will be turnover-related rents for all retailers and many of these will likely be personalised to the individual retailer in the same way they are for office tenants. He predicts there will be more partnership agreements struck. Although it is too early in the development to determine the mix of tenant Roger suggests there will inevitably be differences when compared with previous projects.

Retail Insider would very much like to thank Roger Madelin for sharing his insights on the retail and property industries and also to Novomind for supporting this series of Retail Insider Zoom Cocktail Hours.

Glynn Davis, editor of Retail Insider