Boris to bolster UK presence at property show

Kasmira Jefford
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AROUND 20,000 property industry delegates are set to descend on Cannes in the South of France today to attend Mipim, the world’s largest property conference – a rise of 1,000 on last year.

Representatives of over 80 countries will attend the four-day event to discuss investment opportunities, with London Mayor Boris Johnson also returning to the conference for a fourth year after last attending 2011.

Over 235 firms including developers, boroughs and consultants will be showcasing projects at the London Pavilion, the largest UK stand.

Major schemes include Sixty London, where Amazon is said to be taking space, Axa Real Estate’s speculative commercial office scheme on Holborn Viaduct and One Nine Elms, a twin residential tower scheme being proposed by Fund manager CIT and Green Property in Vauxhall.

Peter Rhodes, managing director of organiser Reed Midem UK said despite recent tough years, Mipim continued to be a “barometer for the industry”, providing “a concentrated environment in which to network”.

Mark Swetman, project director at Hines, which is rumoured to be close to signing tenants to its Canon Place City office scheme, said there was a “well-founded optimism” behind this year’s conference, with London still favoured by investors.

“Last year more than £30bn was invested in UK real estate from foreign sources, and this appetite shows no signs of abating this year.

“We are also seeing a strong return of the occupier market and even signs of some speculative development,” he added.