02 Jan PROFILE – Richard Bourne, CEO of Martin’s Properties
Interview with Richard Bourne, CEO of Martin’s Properties by Mark Ferguson, Director of More Fire PR Ltd
What does Martin’s Properties do and who are its clients?
We’re a property company with a number of assets along and around the King’s Road. We’re effectively a private landlord and our customers are our tenants across a mixture of retail, residential, restaurant, office, and leisure properties.
What are the main challenges for your organisation?
It’s a very volatile period at the moment. Debt is going up and understanding the impact on our business operations and our tenants is crucial. We want to better support our clients while at the same time ensure there’s plenty of consumer spending happening on the King’s Road.
What are the positives for your and other businesses being based on and around the King’s Road?
For us it’s about having close proximity to our customers and being able to see what’s going on. It’s also a really nice place to work.
There are a lot of amenities, there’s huge diversity, fantastic restaurants, bars, pubs and a wide range of leisure activities too. It’s a green location and very spaced out – all in all a very nice place to be.
What do you see as a key impact the local Business Improvement District is making?
I think the BID is already increasing footfall and encouraging people to spend more time here through a mix of a day and night-time events. Having extra activities like markets and Christmas events in a safe and clean place is attracting people who want to spend serious money.
Why did you want to become a board member for the BID?
I feel the BID can make a real difference and we want to give positive input into the board. Being able to help with monitoring and performance to make sure we’re moving in the right direction is something are fully supportive of.
It’s also important to make sure there’s a good perspective from and focus on occupiers in the area. We’re listening and making sure developments are driven by evidence and this is one of the most important functions of the BID.
What does the BID’s vision for high-end luxury with provision for local residents and workers mean to you?
We’re trying to appeal to a diverse range of people, including local residents, shoppers, tourists and other businesses, so we don’t want to focus on the King’s Road as just a destination. We also want it to be a nice place to live, work and visit.
What makes the King’s Road so special is that it feels like an urban village. We’ve got the community and the wider tourist space.
Can you tell us something we might not know about the King’s Road area?
That there’s not much office space here, it’s much more a local residential area.
Do you have a favorite restaurant in the King’s Road?
I like the Ivy Chelsea Garden, in part because we own it! It’s a very unique offer with a great menu that appeals to everybody. It’s a very special place with dining in an outdoor garden in the middle of Central London.