In Conversation With…Stuart Corbyn

Stuart Corbyn

Image: Stuart Corbyn

There’s a plethora of leading figures in the property, investment, finance and charity sectors who we’re regularly in conversation with, many of whom are guest authors for PRSupdate – and here we share more about them, their roles, priorities and backgrounds. If you would like to feature in this series, or to suggest someone who might, please get in touch through our contact us page or let us know on twitter.

Why not take a lucky dip into our In Conversation archives and discover:

Today we speak with Stuart Corbyn, Chairman of Qatari Diar Delancey, East Village Operations.

Can you tell us a little about your background?

A chartered surveyor, I started my career working in private practice both in the UK and the Netherlands before joining Cadogan Estate where I was Chief Executive for 23 years, retiring in 2008.

In one sentence, could you sum up your role?

Non-Executive Chairman for Qatari Diar Delancey East Village

What attracted you to the role of Chairman of Qatari Diar Delancey East Village Operations?

The unprecedented opportunity to be involved from day one with 70 acres of London in what will become a 21st century equivalent to the traditional  private landed estates that have been such an important part of London.

What does a typical day look like for you?

There is no such thing as a typical day – and I love the variety!

Can you briefly explain what East Village will be?

East Village will be the first legacy neighbourhood to open post-Games, with residents moving in from Summer 2013. It combines the very best of city living with unrivalled space and world-class facilities. The 2,818 homes will be joined by a top school – Chobham Academy, which is part of the Harris Federation, a medical centre and around 30 bars, restaurants, cafes and shops which will complement Westfield, which is only a stone’s throw away.

Will East Village become the benchmark for future Institutional Investment in the PRS?

It certainly is our hope – and we are aware that others are watching us very closely!

What challenges have you faced in bringing the project to fruition?

There are a number of different stakeholders involved in realising East Village and we’ve worked hard to ensure that they all respond positively and are galvanised to work together. Ultimately, we all want East Village to be a success!

What are the aspirations for East Village post-Olympics?

We want to see East Village become a thriving and exciting new neighbourhood within London and a blueprint for Olympic Villages moving forward.

How do you see attitudes towards large scale, institutional investment changing over the next 10 years?

I’m optimistic that institutions will begin to commit themselves to investment in this sector.

What are your thoughts on the UK Private Rented Sector moving towards a more European model which typically offer more security of tenure to residents?

I’m sure that the attitudes of both owners and occupiers will evolve in a way that makes long-term private rental more widely accepted as an alternative to owner occupation, in a way that already exists elsewhere in the world.

What would you say is your most memorable moment or proudest achievement?

I’ve got two, both from my time with Cadogan Estate: creating a concert hall – Cadogan Hall; and creating Duke of York Square as a mixed retail, residential, office, cultural and educational destination.

Finally, do you have a favourite London landmark?

Either Cadogan Hall or, in stark contrast, the Saatchi Gallery. Both magnificent in their own way and very close to my heart.

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