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Entrepreneurs

Mike Ashley Controls 30m sq.ft. Of UK Retail

The founder and CEO of Sports Direct now controls almost 30m sq.ft of UK retail space. Analysis by Radius Data Exchange shows that this 30m sq.ft amounts to around 2.5% of all UK retail space. In comparison Sainsburys have 23.2m sq.ft. and Tesco 40m sq.ft. of space. The portfolio consists of Sports Direct stores plus others which have been secured in recent years including House of Fraser, Flannels, USC, Agent Provocateur, Evans Cycles plus shareholdings in Debenhams, French Connection and Game Digital. Ashley has also…

Reubens Exit Luxury Travel Investment

David and Simon Reuben have sold their holding in the luxury travel operator Belmond Limited, it is reported. The brothers are believed to have received £233m for their stake. Established over 40 years ago with the acquisition of Belmond Hotel Cipriani in Venice, Belmond offers what it calls a ‘curated portfolio’ that includes luxury hotels, tourist trains, river cruises, safari and restaurant experiences in high end tourist locations worldwide. Previously known as Orient-Express Hotels it is most notably the operator of…

Reuben Brothers’ New Newcastle Development Unveiled

The latest proposals for a significant regeneration scheme in Newcastle, being brought forward by David and Simon Reuben’s Taras Properties, have been released for public consultation this week. The 14 storey Bank House project will incorporate 10,000 sq ft of high quality office space potentially employing 1,200 people, plus ground floor retail space and public realm improvements. Bank House is the first stage of a three phase plan to regenerate the East Pilgrim Street area by providing what is referred to as an…

Size Of Bezos’ Mega Property Portfolio Revealed

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has a net worth of $140bn (around £110bn) a substantial part of which is held in property, according to a recent report. The size of Bezos’ portfolio has come to light following the announcement of his divorce from wife MacKenzie, prompting discussion about how the portfolio could be divided between them. It is reported that Bezos’ portfolio includes two mansions in Beverly Hills originally purchased for $24m and $13m, a Manhattan property purchased 20 years ago for $7.7m, two luxury…

Russell’s Return: Emoov Founder Back In Business

Ex-CEO of failed online agency Emoov Russell Quirk has returned with a new venture called Properganda PR. Quirk is offering his services as a property, digital transformation and PR specialist and media commentator, according to his updated profile on a social media site. He is joined in the venture with former Emoov PR head James Lockett. Quirk describes himself as ‘A seasoned entrepreneur and business builder – tenacious and determined. Ideas and vision driven, an expert at digital and operational transformation. A…

Tchenguiz Says Leasehold Reform Will Have Consequences

Property mogul Vincent Tchenguiz says that proposed leasehold reform will damage the property market, according to a recent press report. In recent years the so-called ground rent scandal under which large numbers of new homes have been sold on a leasehold basis – with escalating ground rents – has become a hot political issue. As a result, in late 2017, then Communities Secretary Sajid Javid announced plans to ban leaseholds for future new build homes, introduce measures to make it cheaper and easier for existing…

How Cuckooz Introduced Lucrative Childcare Business To Co-Working Spaces

Imagine if you will these scenarios. You are a tech or creative business traveller arriving in London possibly with your family for a two-week visit that’s part meetings, part pleasure. Or you are a parent wanting to return to work flexibly and who needs somewhere cool to tap away on your laptop while your offspring are looked after by qualified crèche staff. If either of these scenarios sounds familiar, then you’re part of a trend of changing employee needs and business demographics ramping up demand for both…

Foxtons Founder Makes Almost £100m In Four Years From City Offices

Jon Hunt, the founder of high profile estate agency Foxtons, has made almost £100m profit by selling a London office block he bought just four years ago. Hunt bought Princess House in EC4 for £29m in 2014, before extensively refurbishing it and relaunching it as Cannon Green. His investment company Ocubus is now reported to have sold the building to Korean investment company Kiwoom for around £120m. Hunt originally founded Foxtons before selling it just before the 2008 financial crash. It is also understood Hunt owns a…

Chesterman Moves Into Used Car Business

Co-founder of Zoopla Alex Chesterman has raised the finance he needs to start a platform designed to disrupt the used car trade. Chesterman has raised a seed round of around £30m from Stride.VC, dmg ventures, and Octopus Ventures, it is reported. It is thought Cazoo will allow customers to select and buy, rent or finance a used car. Then have it delivered direct within 48 days on a ‘money back if not delighted’ basis. Chesterman says: “I’m delighted to announce this investment in my latest venture, Cazoo, and am very…

London Has No Young Proptech Hotshots

The new ‘25 under 25’ list of London’s most promising young tech entrepreneurs does not contain a single proptech name. The list, published recently by Tech London Advocates, recognises the excellence of entrepreneurs under age 25 from various fields. It is headed by Aleksandra Pedraszewska, 24, co-founder of VividQ a software builder for holographic 3D display. Anisah Osman Britton, founder and CEO of 23 Code Street, a coding school for women also makes the list. However, anything remotely property related is conspicuous…

Reuben Brothers Spend £61m On Expanding Hotel Empire

David and Simon Reuben have spent £61m on a prime central London site which already has full planning permission for a luxury hotel. The Reuben Brothers have purchased 54 and 55-57 Great Marlborough Street, Soho, from Quadrum Global. The site currently consists of 44,000 sq. ft. of space with a 100ft. street frontage. The site was granted full planning permission for demolition and construction of a 63,400 sq.ft. 118 room hotel consisting of two basement levels and seven upper floors back in February. The latest buy…

American Billionaires Invest $263m In Expectation Of Brexit Chaos

A trust backed by two American billionaire families is seeking to cash in on Brexit volatility by investing in London property, it is reported. The Van Tuyls and the Stephens families have provided an initial $263m (£200m) for investment through their Firethorn Trust investment company. The trust has already spent $34m (£26m) on the purchase of Quay House, a relatively modest building in Canary Wharf. It is reported they have plans to build a supertall tower featuring a hotel on the site. Founder Peter Mather…

New Property Portal Claims £2m Valuation After Just Four Weeks

Newbie online property entrepreneur Riccardo Iannucci-Dawson claims his innovative new build property portal is worth £2m just four weeks after opening. Founder Iannucci-Dawson's company, Yourkeys, describes itself as ‘the new way to buy new builds’. The portal enables buyers of new build properties to stay connected to others involved in the purchase including developers, solicitors and contractors. Yourkeys employs 17 and its team includes a number of board members and advisors with extensive property and digital…

Regus Founder Ponders Break Up In Face Of WeWork Rise

The owner of the Regus, Spaces and the No.18 serviced office accommodation brands is reported to be considering splitting the business as the market evolves towards the WeWork model. It is reported that Regus founder and CEO of IWG, Mark Dixon, is proposing to hive off its operating brands from the company's property portfolio with the brands continuing as a standalone franchise. Such a move would pave the way for a potential sale of the property portfolio, worth an estimated £200m. As well as creating value for…

Purplebricks Boss Wants To Bring Champions League Football To Larne FC

Purplebricks co-founder Kenny Bruce has put his online estate agency on every TV screen, and apparently now wants to do the same with his hometown football club Larne FC. In a recent report Bruce said: "We will do whatever it takes financially to make sure this club has the best facilities possible, gets promoted and is challenging for honours in the (NIFL) Premier League.” And he added, optimistically: "I would like Larne to have the Champions League music played at Inver Park one day." Bruce fulfilled every…

James Dyson Snaps Up £26m Prime London Building

Sir James Dyson has spent £26m on a prime London office block. An investment company linked to Dyson’s Weybourne Group, which comprises the Dyson Group and Beeswax Dyson Farming, is reported to have purchased 100 Union Street in SE1. The building, providing around 20,000 sq. ft. of high quality, BREEAM Excellent grade A office space is let to a number of businesses and is believed to generate around £1.2m in rent annually. 100 Union Street was completed in 2017. The building’s letting agents describe it as a…