The hunch he took is starting to pay dividends and residents and businesses in Glasgow's East End are also set to cash in with a series of job boosts.
Several businesses are in advanced talks about moving to a new £35m industrial estate and a number of announcements are expected before the end of the year.
And it's all down to the day Ian decided to buy a sprawling muddy piece of land in Auchenshuggle next to St Peter's Cemetery in London Road.
Since then more than £600million has been spent in creating the new M74 extension and crucially part of the five-mile stretch of road sits next to Ian's plot of land at Junction 2A.
It means firms moving on to the industrial estate will have quick and easy access to Scotland's motorway network and, therefore, the market place.
The 36-acre site was snapped up by Ian in his role as chief executive of Clyde Gateway Urban Regeneration Company which is tasked with bringing investment and jobs to the city's East End after generations of neglect.
It was one of his first executive decisions.
The derelict brown field site once had a coal mine and had been a dump ing ground for slag from the neighbouring Clyde Ironworks. But the regeneration chief could see the potential. For him it wasn't a gamble but more a dead cert when he signed a cheque for £3m.
That was three years ago and since then he's sanctioned the spending of another £4.6m on a major clean-up and the infrastructure required for what is now the Clyde Gateway East Business Park.
Back then Ian predicted: "Our research shows there is an acute shortage of good quality industrial space in Glasgow.
"This site, which sits adjacent to the extended M74 and just two minutes from one of its major junctions, is exceptional in terms of location."
He added: "Importantly, we have to offer opportunities to industries to relocate and develop and grow in this area so that business opportunities are there in the East End of Glasgow for local people to take advantage of.
"People travelling along the M74 will look at this site and see the opportunity to invest and locate their businesses here.
"It will be a major junction and this will be part of the front door to Glasgow, Rutherglen, Shawfield and parts of South Lanarkshire."
And today Ian announced that oil and gas service company Glacier Energy Services is to be the first to set up operations at Auchenshuggle.
The firm will relocate next month from its current base in Motherwell, South Lanarkshire, and will bring 48 jobs to the area. It is setting up manufacturing operations in a 22,200sq ft unit which is bigger than it's present premises.
Ian said: "It was just under three years ago that we announced the purchase of the brownfield site that has since been turned into Clyde Gateway East Business Park.
"At the time, I said it was the most important decision we had made in the early days of Clyde Gateway as it would allow us to provide significant development opportunities for new investors and this has certainly proved to be the case.
"The private sector has backed our judgement with two highly experienced real estate developers in MEPC and Scot Sheridan putting £14m into Clyde Gateway East and Glacier Energy Services now moving into the first three speculative units that have been constructed.
"I am certain that in the coming months we will see many more prestigious firms announce that they too will be locating into what is undoubtedly Scotland's best connected business park."
The new park is spread over 36 acres. More than half – 20 acres – will provide a total of 430,000sq ft of industrial units with the potential to accommodate more than 1000 workers. The rest of the land will be used for local roads.
Dave Sturrock, chief executive of Glacier Energy Services, said: "Moving to extended premises is a major component in our drive for significant growth across Scotland and the wider UK.
"It gives us greater capacity for capital investment on our key products and services and at Clyde Gateway East we have a site which is fit for purpose in every respect."
Rick de Blaby, chief executive of MEPC, said: "We're extremely pleased to welcome Glacier Energy Services to Clyde Gateway East, a development which they have seen as being perfectly suited to deliver a purpose-built base for a highly skilled workforce.
"It is the ideal endorsement of our original belief in the area, our belief in the vision that Clyde Gateway had promoted and our belief that with Scot Sheridan, we could deliver a real estate offer to companies like Glacier Energy Services."
Ian might not be a gambling man. But this is one sure fire bet which has already started to pay dividends for Glasgow's eastenders.