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Floorplate is your briefing on who’s getting it right with small and medium-sized commercial buildings.

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Carl Turner: How to Develop 'Meanwhile Spaces'

How do you breathe life into an empty site while it awaits re-development? Ask Carl Turner. He’s the founder of celebrated architecture practice, Turner Works. Plus a developer and operator of commercial real estate. Carl’s CRE projects include London’s hit mixed-use developments, Pop Brixton and Peckham Levels. In theory, both projects are temporary as they occupy land slated for redevelopment. As a result, they’re known as ‘meanwhile spaces’. Done well, meanwhile spaces allow a landlord to extract value from a site while figuring out what to do with it long term. Even better, a meanwhile space can reveal the best long-term use for the land it sits on. In today’s interview, Carl explains how he’s turned unused spaces into destinations enjoyed by millions. Listen now and you’ll learn: Why he likes activating public spaces. How he plans, builds and operates meanwhile spaces. How he gets the tenant mix right. How he structures his tenants’ leases and rents. How he creates a buzz that attracts massive footfall. How he’s now applying his understanding of meanwhile spaces to refresh entire towns. And MUCH more…


27 Apr 2021

Rank #1

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Leopold Weinberg: We Are Content’s co-founder on how to be a commercial property developer. And hospitality operator.

Can operating your own hotels, bars and restaurants boost the value of your commercial property portfolio? To find out, take a look at design-led property developer, We Are Content. We Are Content owns commercial buildings in the heart of Zurich and Basel. These include apartments, mixed-use buildings and hotels. Some of these are home to We Are Content’s own hospitality businesses. For example, the company operates two celebrated boutique hotels: Zurich’s Helvetia and Basel’s Volkshaus (the latter designed by Herzog & de Meuron). Meanwhile, We Are Content also operates a collection of destination restaurants, cafes and bars. In today’s interview, Leopold Weinberg shares with you how these hospitality businesses work. And how they hike returns on his real estate portfolio. Listen now and you’ll learn: What makes for a successful commercial property development? Why they like owning properties near red light districts. Why they prefer developing older buildings. Why they like to retain long-term ownership of their buildings (rather than flip them). How they got involved with running hotels, restaurants and bars. How they use storytelling to develop and operate their businesses. And MUCH more…


23 Feb 2021

Rank #2

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Michael McCormack: Milieu Property's co-founder on building design-led apartments

If you're interested in how good design can bring joy to apartment living, you need to meet Michael McCormack. He's co-founder of Melbourne real estate developer, Milieu Property. Started ten years ago, the business has developed a reputation for crafting beautifully conceived apartments. And a cult-like following amongst the creatives who typically own (and occupy) them. Not surprisingly, Milieu’s engaging buildings have also won a string of important architecture and design awards. Property development aside, Milieu has also joined Melbourne's buzzy hospitality scene by opening a collection of celebrated restaurants, cafes and bars. In today’s interview, Michael shares with you how he creates places - and experiences - people love. And how he makes money along the way. Listen now and you’ll learn: Why he likes developing apartments. How he discovers what his customers want. How he acquires the right sites. Why he collaborates with a variety of capital providers, architects and interior designers. How he selects companies to construct his buildings. How his sales and marketing system works. Why he set up a hospitality division. What’s next for apartment living in a post-Covid world. And MUCH more…

1hr 2mins

9 Feb 2021

Rank #3

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Loh Lik Peng: How to Develop Restaurants and Hotels People Love

Have you ever wondered what it takes to build a global network of Michelin-starred restaurants? Or a collection of celebrated hotels? If so, the man to ask is Loh Lik Peng. Peng is the restaurateur, hotelier and property developer behind a slew of iconic restaurants and hotels across Europe and Asia. Most of these form a part of his umbrella organisation, Unlisted Collection. Unlisted Collection operates sites in Singapore, Shanghai, Sydney, London, Dublin and County Kerry in Ireland. And over the past 15 years, the roll-call of chefs he has backed includes legendry names like Andre Chiang, Jason Atherton, Nuno Mendes and Dave Pynt. In today’s conversation, Peng reveals how he operates his property development and hospitality businesses. Listen now and you’ll learn: Why he got into commercial property development. What attracted him to hospitality. How he funds his property developments. Where he spots promising sites that others miss. Why he has spread his businesses across the globe. How he MANAGES a global operation. How he finds and nurtures hospitality talent. And MUCH more…


16 Dec 2020

Rank #4

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Sascha Lewin: How to Add Value to Commercial Properties

Want to know how to boost your return on mixed-use buildings? If so, don’t miss my interview with London commercial property developer, Sascha Lewin. Sascha is the founder of W Real Estate. And he’s now emerging as a significant player in London’s mixed-use development scene. In today’s conversation, Sascha reveals how he finds, funds, develops and tenants his properties. Listen in and you’ll discover: Why he likes developing commercial real estate. How he built his skills. Why he’s focused on London. How he sources investors. How he finds development sites. How he develops his sites. What he does with his completed sites. What role office working will play in the future. And MUCH more…

1hr 4mins

8 Oct 2020

Rank #5

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Placewise CEO Peter Tonstad on How to Grow Mall Footfall and Spend

You don’t need me to point out that many shopping malls are in crisis. But did you know that one of the sector’s big underlying problems is this: mall owners typically know little about the individuals who shop with them. Or what will trigger a specific person to visit the mall more often (and spend more when they do). The result? Many mall owners have few ways to (measurably) boost footfall and sales. That makes it hard to know – in fine detail – which of their marketing ideas work. And which don’t. At the same time, mall owners often lack a direct communication channel to their shoppers (other than using media within the mall itself). That means owners often have to spend money on advertising each time they want to drive people back to the mall. As you can see, all this limits the mall owner’s ability to control whether their mall thrives. Or dies. Enter Placewise, a retail real estate proptech business who’s systems are used in over 1,000 shopping centres around the world. In fact, Placewise is the world’s largest provider of software designed with just one goal in mind: to allow mall owners to measurably boost footfall and shopper spend. In today’s conversation, Placewise boss, Peter Tonstad, walks you through how his product works.And why it might just save the mall. Listen now and you’ll learn: How to get shoppers to hand over their personal details. How to send personalised offers to them instantly (without having to spend money on advertising). Which retail offers get people spending (and which don’t). How to convince retailers to provide compelling offers. How to track results. How to compare your results with your peers. And MUCH more…


30 Aug 2020

Rank #6

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Mark Toro: The North American Properties Atlanta Founder on Creating Experiences

Mark Toro is admired as one of America’s smartest commercial real estate developers. So you’ll be surprised to learn he doesn’t think of himself as a developer per se. That’s despite having developed over 9 million square feet of mixed-use projects since founding North American Properties Atlanta in 1996. Those millions of square feet have included retail, office, multifamily and hotel space. So if Mark doesn’t think ‘developer’ describes him accuratly, what does? He says that, first and foremost, he’s an entertainment and hospitality entrepreneur. In other words, he’s in the business of creating experiences. Why experiences? Because he says mixed-use developers need to do more than simply erect buildings. And fill them with tenants. Above all, he argues that today’s developer needs to play an ACTIVE role in driving footfall. But Mark doesn’t want any old footfall. He wants a property to buzz with the energy of people who love being there. How does he get these people on-site (and keep them coming back)? By curating entertainment and hospitality experiences that draw people in like a magnet. Needless to say, once he has a tide of fans pouring through the door, high-paying tenants are close behind. That’s why his 2.3 million square foot Avalon development in Atlanta hosts an Apple Store. Plus a Tesla showroom. And now Peloton are opening, too. In today’s podcast, Mark walks you step-by-step through the process he took to switch from old-school developer to becoming a master at crafting entertainment and hospitality experiences. Listen now and you’ll discover…Why he pivoted from traditional property development to an experience-led model. How it has given rise to flourishing communities at his sites. Why these communities are turbo-charging demand for his retail, office, residential and hotel spaces. What the switch has done to his net operating income. How he attracts top retail tenants. How he sources equity and debt to finance his developments. How he acquires sites. Why he’s quit doing greenfield developments. And MUCH more…

1hr 55mins

26 Aug 2020

Rank #7

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Crispin Kelly: Baylight Properties’ founder on developing commercial real estate in London

Crispin Kelly is a man on a mission: to prove that superb architecture is a vital part of commercial real estate development. Since launching Baylight Properties 30 years ago, he’s focused on multifamily and office developments in central London. But an enthusiasm for suburban living has also seen him develop housing in suburban areas of England. Outside of his commercial work, Crispin champions the importance of architecture through his charity, the Baylight Foundation. He also chairs Open City and the Trustee Board at the London School of Architecture. But while Crispin often talks publically about architecture, he rarely discusses the commercial aspects of his operation. In today’s episode, he does just that. Listen now and you’ll discover: why he prefers to buy and hold (rather than sell) his completed properties. Where he finds his properties. How he closes deals. How he funds his developments. Where he sources finance. How he manages his properties. What profit margin he targets. And MUCH more…

1hr 7mins

8 Aug 2020

Rank #8

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Scott Metzner: How to Become a New York City Property Developer

Are you interested in the specific ways a successful New York property developer built his business? If so, you cannot afford to miss this interview. Starting from scratch, Scott Metzner has spent the past thirty years building a substantial property development business in Manhattan. Beginning with a single walk-up, Janus Property now develops and reinvigorates entire city blocks. And right now, Scott is in the middle of his largest project yet. In fact, The Manhattanville Factory District is the largest privately-owned development in Upper Manhattan. Spread over 4-acres, the project will deliver 1.1 million square feet of space. This will connect Columbia University, City College and the 125th Street innovation and culture corridor. In this surprisingly candid conversation, Scott shares with you the specific details of how he’s achieved success. Listen now and you’ll discover: How he thinks about risk. How he sources finance. How he finds properties. How he closes deals. How he engages local communities. How he works with planners. How he develops properties (especially difficult ones). How he Attracts the right tenants. And MUCH more…

2hr 32mins

19 Jul 2020

Rank #9

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Doug Stephens: The Future of Physical Retail

Is the physical store still relevant in an age of online shopping and remote working? According to today’s guest, the answer is an emphatic yes. Doug Stephens is a retail futurist who, as CEO of Retail Prophet, advises the leadership of global brands on what’s next for retail. His client list includes Walmart, IKEA, Disney, LVMH and Microsoft. He’s also the author of the best selling books The Retail Revival and Re-Engineering Retail. In a nutshell, Doug’s view is that the future is bleak for physical shops selling mundane items that are easier (and cheaper) to buy online. But when it comes to high-interest products, he thinks consumers are hungry for physical stores. Especially ones that brim with imaginative experiences – like the Apple Store. Meanwhile, Doug says that for brands that want to boost returns on their marketing spend, exciting physical retail is a no-brainer. Why? For a start, online advertising costs have gone through the roof. That means physical stores are often a cheaper way to make potential new customers aware of your brand. Next, he argues that nothing beats an inviting physical store for enthusing people about a brand and its products – and converting those people into buyers. Meanwhile, Doug has strong views on the future role of landlords. In particular, he says that if landlords want to avoid tumbleweed blowing through their retail spaces, they need to get busy driving footfall. How? By curating spaces and places that people want to spend time in. Listen to our conversation now and you’ll learn: How the relationship between physical and online retail works today (hint: there’s more to it than you think). How to win with physical stores. What kind of physical experiences appeal to younger consumers. Why the changing role of physical retail will impact rent models. How the shift to remote working will change the shape of physical retail. Which landlords are getting it right. And MUCH MUCH more.

1hr 8mins

26 Jun 2020

Rank #10