Construction industry news and views from the weekend's papers
Jade Jagger, model, designer and daughter of Rolling Stone Sir Mick, is to become a property developer. The Independent on Sunday reports that Jagger has teamed up with John Hitchcox, co-founder of the Manhattan Loft Corporation, to build urban flats in the UK, the US, and in the far east. “The flats will be feminine, luxurious and modern,” she said. In a more prosaic article, the Independent also reports that Jarvis plans to sell its French roads business for £20 million; a small step on the way to raising the £200 million it needs to avoid financial collapse in the New Year.
The Sunday Telegraph reports a fall in shares in housebuilders, and describes it as a knock-on effect of the slowing housing market. It draws attention to the three directors at Bellway who have been selling their shares, and suggests that in such times of market uncertainty, investors would be wise to take profits while they still can.
The Sunday Times is suitably impressed with the architectural triumph of Foster and Partners’ new bridge across the Tarn Valley at Millau in France, but is more circumspect about its travel-time benefits. It says that going from Calais to the south coast of France via the viaduct will take an average two hours longest than the quickest route.
Sir Nicholas Grimshaw, the architect and newly appointed president of the Royal Academy of the Arts, is interviewed in the Observer. After the stresses of the Bath Spa project, which he describes as “extremely frustrating,” Sir Nicholas plans to spend half his time at the Academy, and hopes it will give him a broader outlook. “There are Matisse and China shows coming up and I plan to do a bit of strolling around exhibitions after hours, with my hands in my pockets,” he says.
In the Observer’s business pages there is news of the latest tourist destination, after Colonel Gaddafi’s Farwa Island Tourism Company signed a deal with Italian property services firm Gruppo Norman to build a £137 million tourist complex in Libya. The project, which is expected to take five years to complete, will have almost 1800 rooms.