This month we meet Justin Hamer, Partner and Chief Operating Officer of Basecamp Real Estate Partners Ltd.
Hi Justin, so tell us a little about the Basecamp philosophy?
At BaseCamp we develop and operate purpose built student accommodation across Northern Europe. Our philosophy is about creating a home-from-home. It has become a bit of a cliché but we approach real estate as a service, adhering to the philosophy that if kids like where they’re staying, our places stay full and that benefits our investors.
So you have a few exciting projects on the go that you can tell us about?
We love all of our projects. The best has to be an 18th Century barracks in the centre of Copenhagen that has 546 students living there. We have properties open in Leipzig, Potsdam and Lodz and we are opening a 475 bed property in the centre of Berlin next week. That has been a fascinating project, from our discussions with the City planners through to building over the Berlin subway which runs straight under our building.
A little different from your work as a former partner at Greenberg Traurig Maher – what brought about the change?
I was an accidental lawyer. I was trading T-Shirts in the Middle-East when I decided I needed a professional qualification. I went into the law on the basis that I would only stay 3 or 4 years. Twenty years later I decided it was time to have a crack at building a business outside an institution. It’s going ok but we have a long way to go. What makes it easier is the team of people I have the genuine pleasure of working with.
And in your spare time how do you fill that?
I’ve always toyed around with fitness – running, weights, that type of thing. Recently I’ve been persuaded to take up cycling and I’m enjoying it. I’m doing a duathlon shortly (10km run, 44km bike, 5km run). I could say that my children fill my time but they are 17 and 19 and I’m lucky to see them at all, love it when I do.
Thanks for your time Justin and all the best for the duathlon!