Chris Taylor , director at commercial property firm Salloway, talks about the changes in Derby after spending five years working in Birmingham.
The last time I worked in Derby's commercial property market was in 2009 and much has changed.
Though I live locally, having my professional focus mainly in the West Midlands has amplified the effect of changes I have noticed since returning to work here.
Already in 2014 we have received a much greater number of inquiries across all sectors than I previously experienced.
This is undoubtedly a sign of the improving market sentiment about the national economy, but more specifically the localised economy of Derby and the East Midlands.
Derby has been noted as a technological hotbed and I have noted that there are a number of these expanding businesses looking for new premises, both on Pride Park and across the city.
The main physical change is the completion of the inner ring road, making it easier to get around the city and unlocking a number of areas to commercialisation.
I have continued to watch with interest the number of city development sites. Wilson Bowden's Number One Cathedral Green has now begun with the demolition of the old police station and redevelopment of the former Magistrates' Court.
Work on Norseman's ONEDerby and Bolsterstone's Central Square should follow closely behind.
All three of which offer BREEAM excellent specification, the highest level of environmental sustainability.
It is also good to see the Sadler Square Studios rising from the old Princes Supermarket site and the large-scale construction activity in the Castleward area.
These proactive development commitments demonstrate a shared confidence in Derby.
As well as brand new commercial buildings being constructed, another major change has taken place at Darley Abbey Mills, part of the Derwent Valley World Heritage Site.
In 2009, much of it was a grubby industrial site.
It has since been transformed into an attractive creative village and we will soon be bringing another 15,500 sq ft of office space to the market.
All of these ventures demonstrate the rich tapestry of what Derby has to offer.
It is very exciting to see the changes that have happened in the city and encouraging that the national economic doldrums have not left our city stagnating during the downturn.
Furthermore, It is encouraging to see a lot of great retailers in the Cathedral Quarter.
The area suffered considerably with the inevitable reorganisation of retailers following Westfield's investment in the city, compounded by the effects of the recession.
And, although vacancies remain, there are fewer empty premises.
Already at this early stage in 2014, Salloway has had some very positive inquiries from strong operators, leading me to feel a great optimism that Derby can make more significant progress over the next five years.