Project management expert Darron Owen has joined the Birmingham office of leading real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield.
He will head the office’s new project management team, which is being developed to meet the changing needs of the local market.
Darron, who has worked in property management for more than 20 years, has already brought one major contract to his new role, and this is to oversee the refurbishment of the ticket office at Paddington station in London, for transport giant First Group.
This is not the first railway based project Darron has worked on – with previous employer Lambert Smith Hampton, with whom he worked for 16 years, he project managed the £2.5m refurbishment of the listed station building at Preston.
He also masterminded the award winning relocation to, refurbishment and fit-out of the Driving Standards Agency’s 55,000 sq ft headquarters building in Nottingham.
At Cushman & Wakefield, Darron will head an initial team of three – one of the other team members is surveyor Sunil Dhanda, who has re-joined Cushman & Wakefield after a short spell at Warwick University.
Tim Brown, head of Cushman & Wakefield’s building consultancy in Birmingham, said Darron’s appointment was a response to a growing demand for project management.
“During the past six years we have focused on building surveying, building that up to an annual income of £1.3m from nothing,” he said.
“However, the ever changing market has seen us get increasingly involved in project management, so we have strengthened that side of the business.”
Darron said: “The market has moved, with people looking to make the most of their property – with a lack of prime stock available, occupiers are increasingly looking to refurbish their existing buildings or find new accommodation that meets their changing requirements.
“They are also finding that as demand increases, time is running out to achieve competitive deals on high quality space and some are considering refurbishment of their existing offices to meet current standards and working practices. We are also receiving opportunities to develop and manage new build projects, with funding becoming increasingly available.”
Since joining Cushman and Wakefield, Darron has been instructed to project manage an industrial redevelopment in Wolverhampton, various office fit-outs in the East and West Midlands and is involved in the redevelopment of two children’s nurseries in Oxford and Milton Keynes.