Up close and personal with David Pardoe from Birmingham’s iconic Mailbox
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF
I’m head of marketing, retail and tenant engagement at the Mailbox, the second largest mixed-use building in the country after the Shard in London! It’s a cool place to work, with 45 shops, restaurants and bars, two hotels, offices, residential apartments, a car park, the BBC and a fab cinema.
HOW DO YOU GET INTO TOWN?
I take the train straight into the city centre – it’s so convenient and much better than battling on the M6. Then it’s just a five-minute walk from New Street station. It’s actually a shorter distance from the station to the Mailbox than it is from the front of the Mailbox to the Cube at the back. I have counted my steps!
HOW’S THE COMMUTE?
I live in Shropshire, which sounds a long way away, but it only takes me 45 minutes from home to work. I typically spend my train journeys catching up on e-mails, reading, listening to music and gazing out of the window enjoying the scenery.
IS BRUM A GOOD PLACE TO WORK IN?
It’s a fantastic place to work! It has such a great energy with some incredibly passionate and friendly people. Thanks to a huge amount of investment, we are now a major player on the global straight. We are definitely not the second city; there’s nothing second about Birmingham – we are the first city outside of London!
I love a cappuccino and Tom’s Kitchen Deli in the Mailbox tends to be my first choice and York’s by New Street station is convenient. I like supporting independent businesses as I appreciate what they bring to a city.
The food at Tom’s Kitchen is amazing and the Ivy on Temple Row is also fab. It’s great for celebrating a special occasion – I treated my wife there recently for her birthday.
I tend to be on my feet quite a bit at work and I usually do about 18,000 steps a day so that keeps me fit and at weekends I enjoy cycling. The canal at the back of the Mailbox is a great place to go for fresh air.
WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF THE CITY?
Without a doubt Symphony Hall – it’s one of the city’s jewels and has tremendous character. It’s a magnificent venue and has the finest acoustics in the country.
A beer from the Malmaison bar is my first choice for a quick after-work tipple. It has a great chilled atmosphere and when live music or a DJ is playing it’s even better. I also like the Canal House in the summer as it has a great sun terrace.
HOW CAN THE CITY BE MADE BETTER?
I would love to see more independent shops to complement the terrific retail offer that we have and I also think public landscaping could be improved further. The city has already shown that it can be bold by attracting the likes of HSBC and the Commonwealth Games and we must continue to be bold and have more confidence in ourselves. This is our time!