Stephen Lewis

Managing Director, HFD Property Group

IFSDG:  How long have you worked in HFD Property Group?

Stephen: 11 years

IFSDG:  How many people work at HFD Property Group?

Stephen: Over 100 across our 4 main divisions of Development, Construction, Management and Investment.

IFSDG:  What is the vision for HFD Property Group in Glasgow?

Stephen: We want to help businesses in Glasgow to attract and retain the best employees and by building exceptional office space we hope it will help those companies attract exceptional staff. We're designing buildings that meet the needs of employees today and in the future, with a focus on wellness, connectivity and sustainability.

Our Bothwell Exchange development is helping to meet the demand for new grade A office space and we hope to continue to be able to play a part in supporting and encouraging inward investment into the city.

177 Bothwell Street is set to become Glasgow's largest single office building.

IFSDG:  What's a typical day for you?

Stephen: It's an old cliché but no day is typical. I'm normally in the office for 7:30am to allow myself time to plan the day and get through tasks that require some quiet time. It's then a mix of internal meetings with our construction and property management teams or our external design teams, agents or lawyers. Projects can range from letting 200 sq.ft to a new start business in our managed office portfolio, to submitting a proposal to a corporate occupier for a new £100m office.

IFSDG:  Why did HFD Property Group choose to locate in the IFSD in Glasgow?

Stephen: When you're building a new office space, it's all about location, location, location. The IFSD is a fantastic area with nearby transport links, a wide range of amenities and is home to some of the largest multi-national brands that you'd be proud to call neighbours.

IFSDG: Three good things about working in Glasgow?

Stephen: People (in terms of both staff availability and the Glasgow attitude), connectivity/transport and amenities (shops, restaurants etc).

IFSDG:  What is your biggest business achievement to date?

Stephen: In terms of current projects, 177 Bothwell Street is the single largest office development in Glasgow and will provide exceptional office accommodation when completed in June 2021.

In terms of previous projects, we will always be immensely proud of our G1 development on George Square. Taking a fantastic but unloved building that lay vacant for 10 years and creating new office space for over 1,500 staff is a great business achievement.

IFSDG:  What is the best investment you ever made?

Stephen: Not a typical investment, but completing a Land Economics BSc at University West of Scotland (or Paisley University as it was in my day!). A fantastic degree with the benefit of a full year's vocational placement which I spent in Aberdeen. That year out working set the foundation for my career.

IFSDG:  Which businessperson or company do you most admire and why?

Stephen: Professionally, it would be Richard Branson of Virgin. He has been and continues to be hugely successful across such a wide range of businesses, yet his staff appear to adore him and he seems to have a lot of fun along the way.

IFSDG:  What did you want to be when you were a child?

Stephen: As a child I wanted to be a firefighter, just like my Dad. As a teenager this very quickly changed to a Property Surveyor - sad but true.

IFSDG:  What do you do to relax away from the office?

Stephen: I spend as much time with my wife and 4-year old daughter as I can when I am away from the office but I can't say that it's very relaxing!!

IFSDG: I-Phone or Android?

Stephen: Android (Samsung Galaxy for me).

IFSDG: Favourite band?

Stephen: Chvrches

IFSDG: Favourite sport?

Stephen: Formula 1 Grand Prix (if you can call it a sport).

IFSDG: Favourite movie?

Stephen: The Pursuit of Happiness

IFSDG: Sunshine or snow?

Stephen: Sunshine please.

IFSDG:  and finally, what three words sum you up?

Stephen: Driven, passionate and humorous (sometimes!).

  • Stephen Lewis