Experienced hotels specialist, James Williamson has joined as a Director in the Midlands office of the national Retail, Hotels and Leisure team at leading real estate adviser, GVA.
A qualified chartered surveyor and RICS Registered Valuer, James has amassed nearly 20 years of experience in the hotels and leisure sector, with roles at Forte Hotels Group, Edward Symmons Hospitality & Leisure, and JLL Hotels.
James originally joined GVA in 2009 as a London-based Director in the Hotels & Leisure team working on assignments across the UK. He took a leading role in the team’s growth and was involved in the company’s acquisitions of Humberts Leisure in 2011 and RGA Consulting in 2012, before leaving the company for a brief period in 2015.
Over his career, James has built extensive experience acting for private hotel operators, administrators and receivers, commercial property investors and major hotel companies in the acquisition, disposal, operational structuring and branding of a wide range of hotel assets.
While at GVA, James has been instrumental in progressing some of the Midlands’ most notable hotel transactions, including the sale of Birmingham city centre’s Radisson Blu Hotel to a Dubai based investor, the Fortmere Hotel portfolio, and Cannock’s Ramada Hotel (now a Holiday Inn).
James said: “GVA has a great representation and strong track record in the hotel sector and I’m looking forward to growing both the valuation and agency elements of the business, capitalising on our market-leading consultancy position within the region.
“The Midlands market remains robust from a trading perspective, with the levels of work and development taking place in the city helping to support its growth on national and international platforms, underpinning the good levels of investor appetite in the region, particularly from overseas.”
James’s appointment follows that of fellow hotel and leisure specialist Philip Gibson, who joined the team in October 2016.
Ian Stringer, Regional Senior Director at GVA’s Birmingham office, said: “The Midlands has always been a key region for the hotels sector and James’s experience is vital to ensuring that we capitalise on our track record in the market and the opportunities that it presents.
“With James and Philip now in post in Birmingham, we have a strong team whose depth of knowledge in all aspects of the hotel market, from development and operation to disposal, makes them uniquely qualified to advise our clients on the best strategy for their assets.”
Gavin Brent, Managing Director of GVA’s Retail, Hotels and Leisure division says: “We are delighted that James has re- joined us, strengthening our hotels and leisure offer in the Midlands, in particular. James is one of five senior hotel property specialists to have joined us in the last couple of years and will play an important part in helping us achieve further market share in what we regard as an extremely important part of our overall leisure property offer.”