Spurs prepare for demolition, the industry bikes to Cannes, there’s a bargain in Chelsea, Laing O’Rourke is prepared for change (still), and Prince William attends a charity bash. Plus, Swiss restaurateurs want to get high

Hansom HT

Helping hands

All being well, the board of Tottenham Hotspur will make a decision later this month that will see the football club confirm its move to Wembley stadium next season while Mace completes building its new 61,000-seat ground. Demolition of the part of the ground that hasn’t been torn down could even start this month as well, although I personally think the club might be given a hand with this bit of the work this Sunday. That is when Spurs are due to line up against Millwall in the FA Cup. For example, Millwall could help them by ripping out all the seats …

Deux tours de France

By now, more than 200 cyclists will be 24 hours into a six-day trip to Cannes, 1,500km away in the south of France. The long-distance cycle ride, which coincides with the Mipim property event, is hoping to raise £500,000 for the children’s charity Coram. For the first time ever, there will be two routes making up the annual charity ride, with one going via Folkestone-Calais and the other Portsmouth-Caen. The riders of both pelotons will meet again in Aix-en-Provence, on the fifth day of the event, to ride into Cannes together on the final day. I looked into the idea for a bit then divided 1,500 by six and quickly came up with my answer: “Non, merci.”

Nice little fixer upper

Agent JLL is advertising a four-bed house in London’s desirable Chelsea for £4.75m. Par for the course, I guess, but there’s a catch for anyone that thinks this is a bargain. It needs a “full makeover”, the blurb says. Let JLL director Giles Cook allay any fears though: “While taking on a project can be daunting, it does have its benefits, from creating a tailor-made home to paying less stamp duty, as the purchase price is lower than the value of the finished article.” Cook reckons, post-makeover, the owner will have a £7m home on their hands. Wasn’t the last housing crash meant to have ended this sort of thing?

The once and future king

It’s the time of year when chief executives have to earn their corn: it’s reporting season and over the next few weeks many will be telling the press and analysts what’s good and bad. I heard from an industry friend of mine who said whenever he’s seen a group of CEOs in a room together at some shindig they’re all prepared to politely disagree with each other. But he tells me they sit with a sort of awed silence whenever Ray O’Rourke speaks. Perhaps they’re pricking up their ears to get his tips on succession planning, which he says he started at Laing O’Rourke back in 2006. Now, 11 years on and a few names later, it seems he’s still no nearer to naming who will take over from him in 2020.

Like father, like son?

Speaking of succession, no less a figure than Prince William was among 500 guests at the 30th anniversary dinner for property industry charity Land Aid last week, a wonderful occasion at London’s Guildhall, which raised more than £250,000 for youth homelessness projects. I did wonder whether the Duke of Cambridge might be tempted to put a bid in on the silent auction, with one of the prizes up for grabs, courtesy of Mace and crane firm HTC Wolffkran, the chance to drive a crane in London. However, the prize, which fetched a cool £1,800, went elsewhere – which is probably for the best. Who knows what design changes would have been swiftly inflicted on some the capital’s schemes if Wills has learned anything from his carbuncle-loathing father.

Ain’t no mountain high enough


A London architect is behind plans for a restaurant at the top of a mountain in the Swiss Alps. The restaurant, designed by Studio Seilern Architects, will sit on top of the highest part of the Nätschen mountain area, at 2,360m above sea level – nearly 8,000ft in old money – in the Andermatt-Sedrun region. Called Gütsch, the restaurant will be made out of local stone and have timber-lined interior walls. I’m struck by a number of logistical issues here but mainly: won’t there be a bit of a labour shortage at this altitude? And UK contractors, fretting about the supply of EU workers drying up, think they have problems.

Send any juicy industry gossip to hansom@ubm.com