The General Election has, undoubtedly, brought a degree of uncertainty and only time will tell whether that continues or begins to settle down.
That said, there is still a keenness and willingness to invest here in Coventry and Warwickshire, with industrial and manufacturing units proving to be very much in demand. There’s little in the way of stock, which is likely to continue if the lack of new build is not rectified.
When it comes to offices and retail, it is still tough throughout the region – with retail, that’s largely down to the change in the way people shop.
The Financial Ombudsman has announced it will be coming to Friargate and there is a deal done, we are told, on the former BHS building in the City Centre – both of which are positive news for the city.
More student accommodation was announced for Coventry recently and was met by the usual cries of ‘they bring no money into the city’ but I believe they are a major positive and genuinely bring benefits economically.
We are seeing some developers starting to move into straight residential developments in the City Centre – such as the EDG Property scheme for the former Co-op site.
They are seeing opportunities to reach levels that stack up commercially and, once that starts to happen more and more, the market will begin to move in that direction.
If, as some say, there is ‘too much’ student accommodation in the City Centre then demand will drop and the market will move away from it.
I certainly don’t think we have seen the last of it yet. I don’t think we should be shy in saying that it brings benefits to Coventry by adding to the economy and activity in the City Centre.
It’s not a case of either student accommodation or shiny new retail outlets in City Centre South – we should hopefully have the best of both worlds if the exciting plans are to be realised.
Photo - Nick Holt