Born in Leeds and educated at Leeds Grammar School before obtaining a degree in Urban Estates surveying at Trent polytechnic in Nottingham.
Robert went on to work for Abbey National in Milton Keynes as head of their retail development team providing new branches throughout the UK before joining Highland Developments in 1996. He became a Director the same year and was responsible for numerous retail development projects in places such as Covent Garden, Leicester and Norwich before founding his own retail development and investment consultancy, Chase Park Properties in 2005 to undertake further retail development projects in locations such as Kensington, Nottingham and Saffron Walden.
Since Robert joined Realis in 2011 he has been responsible for the 5 shop new build development in Witney which included tenants such as Morrisons, Greggs and Costa Coffee as well as two new stores for Costa in Bishop’s Waltham and Henley-on-Thames and he continues to focus on new retail development and investment opportunities for the Company.
1. What is the key to a successful development?
Patience, a well organised team with a shared desire to succeed and most importantly a large slice of luck!
2. Describe your perfect team for a development.
It would have to be the current Realis team! OR ALTERNATIVE ANSWER York City a team in need of so much development!
3. Describe your favourite development you have delivered
46 Bridlesmithgate Nottingham – almost 10 years of canvassing, a protracted purchase negotiation with a major landowner, a tight land locked site with no rear access, new build scheme over 3 basement levels of Nottingham caves, a prelet at a record rent and a sale at 4% – it was the biggest challenge but ultimately very rewarding!
4. What is your most inspirational development by another and why?
Victoria Quarter in Leeds – transformed the image of my home city by attracting such high quality new retailers whilst retaining and enhancing the history of the Victorian arcades.
5. What is your best personal achievement?
My family – four amazing people who I am very proud to know and love and who still occasionally laugh at my very funny jokes.
6. What is your favourite past time?
Family holidays, walking, wine tasting or a day at the cricket!
7. What is your favourite quote?
“Life is for living and loving not waiting and wondering”
8. Which charity do you support and why?
Great Ormond Street Hospital – having been fortunate enough to have three healthy children I know many people including friends and family who have benefited from the world class staff and facilities offered by GOSH to children worldwide.
9. Who inspires you and why?
Anyone who has so little but is prepared to give you anything and everything – I met many such people in Peru and it really changed my outlook on life
10. Who’s influenced your career most and why?
My late father, a truly remarkable person who I could talk to about anything and who introduced me to the property profession, my love of sport and taught me to “work hard, do your best and you will succeed”
11. What’s the best piece of advice you could give to someone?
Never give up and always treat people as you would hope to be treated.
12. What is the thing you like best about your work?
Property is not about bricks and mortar it is about the people and I have been fortunate to meet and work with some fabulous people many of whom have become great friends
13. What’s on your desk?
Glass of water, new Kasabian CD, lots of new work and my console for the weather station my boys bought me for my birthday!
14. What’s your favourite holiday destination?
15. What’s your favourite gadget?
My new ipad – couldn’t live without it!