Tuesday, 30 September 2014

MSc Real Estate: Oxford and London

As usual, Nick French, Programme Leader for the MSc Real Estate packed a lot into the first week for the new students, including two field trips: the walking tour of Oxford (Wednesday), hosted by Nick French and the trip to DTZ HQ in London  followed on Friday - the day was hosted by DTZ who are one of the sponsors of the MSc Real Estate at Oxford Brookes.

Back to the walking tour of Oxford which was accompanied by the 'Oxford Property Market Questionnaire' with 77 questions, the purpose of which was to make the students more familiar with the centre of Oxford and also to equip the students with the relevant information about the city that they would need to construct a group presentation on the property market in Oxford for the following week. This year, the blog report focuses on some areas of Oxford that you might not associate with 'the city of dreaming spires' - photos by the Ed.

The new Brookes Bus down in Frideside Square. Preferred mode of transport to the first location...

...Oxford railway station. Where the students gathered for a briefing session from Nick French (MSc RE leader).

Down at Oxford railway station. And the car park.

For the thousands of people who visit Oxford each year (and even for those of us who live there), the railway station is a bit of a let down. Does it really make for a suitable entry point for such a beautiful and historic city? It would seem not. Plans have recently been published for the redevelopment of the railway station and the surrounding area. The new development will also include a bus station - finally bringing together road and rail into a single hub and solving the problems of the current, cramped bus station at Gloucester Green.

Find out more about the redevelopment plans and the architectural competition for the concept design of the new station, bridge and transport interchange:

BBC Oxford
Oxford Station Masterplan (including an animation showing how the redevelopment could look)
Oxford West End Redevelopment

The students walked through the west end of Oxford and arrived at the back entrance to the Westgate Shopping Centre. It was built between 1970–72 and was designed by the architect Douglas Murray. Excavations for the service basements destroyed evidence for over a twentieth of the remains of the original medieval town - but hey, this was 1970.

The Westgate Shopping Centre. It really is this bleak.

In September 2004 plans were published for the redevelopment of the Westgate area in Oxford. This set out a strategy to provide improved and extended retail space as part of a wider regeneration of the area. Plans were stalled in 2008 when a local campaign group called Oxford Against Westgate Expansion was set up to oppose the redevelopment. The objections were as follows: increased risk of local flooding, increased traffic and congestion, demolition of Abbey Place, replacement of dozens of mature trees with saplings and shrubs, incompatibility with plans for a new bus hub and a pedestrianised Queen Street, and the threat to independent shops across the city. They also felt that the proposed building's inefficient and polluting design was completely unacceptable in a time of climate change. The objections were taken seriously and it took a further 6 years until revised plans were finally approved in March 2014. Find out more here:

Westgate Oxford Alliance (includes an useful timeline)

The students continued their tour of the city, taking in the Clarendon Shopping Centre, the bus station and Gloucester Green, Cornmarket, the historic Oxford Covered Market and Pizza Hut (lunch). 

And so to Friday 19 September. The students met up at the DTZ HQ in London (125 Old Broad Street - also known as Stock Exchange Tower) - photos by Nina Xia.

Stock Exchange Tower - 125 Old Broad Street. And DTZ HQ.

The day was hosted by DTZ who are one of the sponsors of the MSc Real Estate at Oxford Brookes. The students attended a number of presentations including: A Day in the Life of a Surveyor; Introduction to Graduate Recruitment; DTZ Research; City Investment and International Valuations. They also met a number of graduates from the MSc Real Estate at Oxford Brookes who are now working for DTZ. The students were then given a tour of City Offices by a member of the City Agency Team at DTZ.

Tour of City Offices. Involving a lot of looking up.

Name that building.

And now the real work gets underway. For more information about the MSc Real Estate, visit our web page (below) or click on the MSc Real Estate tab on the main blog page.

MSc Real Estate

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