Keep smiling and rock on
A positive mental attitude during tough times can generate good business, writes David Griffin
I HAVE been involved in commercial property since 1978, been through the troubles of the early 1980s and the recession of 1990 to 1994 but nothing prepared me for the depression which began in June 2007.
Prices have been slashed, valuations have followed and loan- to - value covenants breached, resulting in ever more investments being forced on to the market, driving it down further.
I have personally been involved in two purchases where the acquisition prices are about 5% of the 2006/2007 sales figures – that is why I refer to the “depression”.
Then I decided that the only way forward was to stop being depressed, and look on the bright side. After all, if you are a Glasgow Rangers fan at least you have never won a league title in March before.
I considered the so-called “horsemeat scandal”. Two things: it was only mislabelling – there is nothing wrong
with horse flesh, in many countries it is on quality restaurant menus. More importantly, despite detailed wide spread analytical research, there has not been a single record of human body part being found in any hamburger or shepherd’s pie for that matter. Is that not really comforting?
Let me tell you, this new approach is working. I have not had a more successful month in my life than March 2013. Solicitors have been instructed on two shops on Great Western Road; we concluded one shop and placed two others under offer on Queen Margaret Drive; a shop in Stirling is awaiting lawyers to finalise the contract; and we let a floor in Newton Terrace.
All small deals I know, but it shows there are people out there prepared to say enough is enough, let’s give it a go.
We also agreed terms to buy a 28,000 sq ft office building in Clydebank and I was very pleased with the sale of seven acres of contaminated land to East Dunbartonshire Council which, after clean-up, will facilitate the construction of a new sports stadium. Both sets of solicitors really pulled their fingers out to ensure crucial deadlines were met.
But I am over the moon that Hard Rock Café has signed a contract, subject to planning and licence consents, to lease from my longest-standing client – 179 Buchanan Street, The Old Athenaeum.
If Glasgow City Council shows the same enthusiasm towards these applications as it did with our submissions on the adjoining Chaophraya, where last year planning consent was granted in less than four months, then we will be having 100% beef burgers for our Christmas party.
The Old Athenaeum may be swinging by Christmas
An upbeat approach has brought David Griffin successes such as a Hard Rock Cafe contract