Hammerson switches from retail to city quarters focus with new role

UK-based commercial property REIT Hammerson has appointed Simon Betty, currently retail director for Ireland, to the newly created role of managing director city quarters and developments.

The shift is part of the group's 'city quarters' vision, which will see Hammerson move beyond retail towards a focus on delivering mixed-use neighbourhoods around its existing flagship assets.

Betty joined Hammerson in 2006, working across developments, retail parks, investor relations and group strategy prior to his current role in Ireland.

David Atkins, Hammerson chief executive, said: 'Simon has been instrumental in establishing our presence in Ireland since we entered the market in 2015 and his experience across the business will be essential for the delivery phase of city quarters.

'The concept has already made great progress in the last 12 months, and this newly created role will build upon this success, ensuring it delivers value for both stakeholders and local communities.'

City quarters will leverage over 100 acres of Hammersons's existing land bank, with recent milestones in the last three months including delivering outline consent for a 7.5-acre (30,300 m2) masterplan consisting of 1,300 homes and extensive workspace at Martineau Galleries, Birmingham, and full consent for a new flagship hotel adjacent to Victoria Gate Leeds.

In Dublin, planning has been granted for over 100 apartments at Dundrum Town Centre in South County Dublin marking Hammerson’s first move into residential development in Ireland.

Hammerson said that the search for Betty's successor in Ireland had begun and that he would retain his responsibilities for the Irish portfolio in the interim.

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