Commercial Property News

Our magazines are published bi-monthly with in-depth features and news for the commercial property industry. On this page we have the latest news to keep you constantly updated on the market. On the left hand side of the page you can search our archived news which is stored monthly.

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Rok wins major Bristol contract worth £37.5m

Bristol builder Rok has won a major framework contract with Bristol City Council worth £37.5m over five years. Rok is one of just two companies selected by the council for its planned major repairs and improvements programme to housing stock in the north of the city.

It is the latest major framework contract to be won by Rok's Bristol office this year, and brings the total value of such contracts to more than £60m. Rok is already working in partnership with Anchor Trust in the South West and North East on a £11.6m annual planned repairs and maintenance programme.

Recently Rok was also appointed by the Sovereign Development Consortium, made up of 12 housing associations, to carry out development and new building work across the South West.

Rok area leader, Charlie Scherer, said: "This contract with Bristol City Council represents a major milestone for our Bristol office and is recognition of the quality and expertise we have in this area.

"It provides us with a stream of programmed work for the next five years for which we will be using local labour, and further cements our ambition to be seen as the nation?s local builder in the communities where we work."

David Simpson joins Cushman & Wakefield

David Simpson has joined Cushman & Wakefield in Scotland as its new Head of Asset Management. Prior to joining Cushman & Wakefield, David was an associate at Drivers Jonas and head of the Asset Management Team in Scotland.

He has managed property for a host of high profile clients including Henderson Global Investors, Schroders, Rockspring, The Royal Bank of Scotland, Teesland IOG and Forth Ports.

John Hamilton, Head of Cushman & Wakefield in Scotland, said: "Asset management is a discipline which crosses all the different departments in the Firm and it is therefore crucial for the business that we have the right person at its helm. We are confident that David will continue to grow and develop this important area of the business."

A graduate of Paisley University, David said that one of the factors which attracted him to Cushman & Wakefield is the Firm's reputation for technological innovation.

"C&W; really leads the way when it comes to online health & safety management which provides clients with a full paper trail and audit should there be any accidents in or damage to their property. This is very useful for potential insurance claims," he added.

Another key area for growth for the asset management industry is due diligence. David said: "More and more companies are employing asset management teams to sort out tenant and maintenance issues in the run up to a sale of a property. Good portfolio management is key to ensuring a quick and successful disposal."

Drivers Jonas Scotland appoint Ken Thomson as Senior Consultant

Drivers Jonas in Scotland has appointed Ken Thomson as a Senior Consultant
responsible for assisting in the development and promotion of the building
consultancy and facilities management operations throughout Scotland and beyond.

After several years with Drivers Jonas in the late eighties, Ken continued his career with a number of blue chip organisations. His career to date has included director level positions with Bell Ingram and Chesterton. Latterly, Ken was a Director with Rutland Property Group, where he was responsible for the Groups investment and development businesses.

Ken has also provided consultancy services for Shell International, Scottish Widows,
Royal Infirmary Edinburgh and Scottish Prison Service. He has served as an external examiner at Robert Gordon University and as a guest lecturer at Heriot Watt University.

Alasdair Ramsay, Head of Drivers Jonas in Scotland, said:"Ken brings with him a vast amount of experience in the commercial property market and has a very strong understanding of all disciplines. We are delighted that he has joined the team and will drive forward our building consultancy and facilities management service."

Burnley talks shop

As part of Architecture Week (16 - 25 June) an exhibition showcasing the positive
impact of regeneration on local shops and businesses, Talking Shop, was taken out of
the gallery and onto Burnley's terraces.

Visiting Burnley Wood, South West Burnley and Duke Bar, the collection of lively and
colourful photographs of Burnley shops and their keepers was brought to the
doorsteps of people living in the town's regeneration areas thanks to an innovative
exhibition trailer called the 'Architruck'.

Those who missed the truck can still see Talking Shop at Burnley's Mid Pennine Art
Gallery until 1 July. The startlingly vivid pictures give an intriguing insight into
the local businesses many people take for granted.

Kathleen Houghton, Elevate's Communications Director, said: "We are sponsoring
'Talking Shop' because we recognise that housing market renewal depends on more than just housing. Vibrant, sustainable, urban neighbourhoods also depend on local shops and businesses, and we are interested in exploring this further with local business people, shop owners and workers. Photographer Andy Ford's images document the impact of regeneration and are quite stunning in their gritty realism."

Talking Shop was sponsored by Elevate East Lancashire and supported by Mid Pennine
Arts, LAND, Arts Council, Lancashire County Council and the Lancashire Economic

The Architruck was created by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA),
RENEW (NW Centre of Excellence) and the Northwest Development Agency.

George Wimpey Midland appointed to develop second phase at Lightmoor Village

National regeneration agency English Partnerships with its joint venture partner, Bournville Village Trust, has selected house builder George Wimpey Midland as the developer for Stocking Park, the second residential phase of Lightmoor Village, the landmark urban village in Telford.

Stocking Park will feature 108 homes ranging from one bedroom maisonettes to five-bedroom houses, with each one being constructed to an Eco Homes rating of 'excellent'. Five of the properties in the village will be created from the retained and refurbished buildings of Stocking Farm - the original building on the site.

Lightmoor Village will be developed in the spirit of Birmingham's Bournville Village, a world-famous example of an urban community created by George Cadbury, founder of Bournville Village Trust.

When complete, Lightmoor will provide over 800 homes of different types and tenures, built on 72 ha (178 acres) of land and will include local services and facilities, which in turn will bring new jobs to the area.

David Rhead, senior regeneration manager of English Partnerships said, "Lightmoor is so much more than environmentally friendly housing. With state of the art construction techniques in use, we are providing the framework for a community that people will want to live in now and for generations to come.

"People are already living in the first phase of housing and once this second phase is underway, the development will really start to take shape. We?re delighted that George Wimpey Midland will be helping us to deliver this key example of a sustainable community here in Telford."

Kevin Webb, Project Director of Bournville Village Trust added, "Lightmoor will reflect the culture and close community that, since its inception, has made Bournville in Birmingham such a popular place to live."

Commenting on the appointment, Graham Bird, Managing Director of George Wimpey Midland, said: "Stocking Park will be an important part of this scheme and provides us with a fantastic opportunity. We are looking forward to working in partnership to bring this exciting project to life."

Lightmoor Village is one of four key sites in Telford being brought to market by English Partnerships, the others being one of the country's largest new communities at Lawley; Telford Millennium Community at East Ketley and the strategic housing renewal scheme at Woodside. Together they will create more than 5,000 homes in the area.

Knight Frank sells Paisley office space

Acting on behalf of RWC Properties Ltd, international property consultancy Knight Frank has sold 108-110 Hawkhead Road, Paisley to Lambert Contracts Ltd.

Lambert Contracts Ltd will use the 4,822 sq ft space for its administration and storage purposes. The site comprises a two storey, mid-terraced stone building, offering a number of office suites, storage space and a boardroom facility. In addition, a large enclosed car parking area is featured at the rear of the property.

Hawkhead Road is located eight miles west of Glasgow city centre, two miles south of Glasgow International Airport and has direct access to the M8 motorway network via Junction 29.

Leigh Neil, from Knight Frank, said: "108-110 Hawkhead Road is in an excellent site -ideally located close to Glasgow Airport with good transport links into the city centre. It offers substantial space, with the potential for redevelopment. With city office rates rising, locations such as Paisley will always be an attractive option and represent a solid investment for the future in the city."

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Warner Estate Holdings achieves 30.7% return on shareholders asset funds

Warner Estate Holdings, the property investment company has announced its preliminary results for the year ended 31 March 2006.

Financial Highlights

  • Total adjusted return 30.7% (2005: 19.6%)(i) - £85.3m (2005: £47.0m)
  • Adjusted net asset value per share up 25% to 741p
  • Net asset value per share up 22% to 660p
  • Triple net asset value per share up 21% to 669p
  • Recurring earnings per share 22.9p (2005: 22.3p restated)
  • Earnings per share 140.2p (2005: 89.2p)
  • 35th successive year of dividend growth
  • Average dividend growth over the last five years of 6.8% per annum
  • Dividend raised by 6.8% to 19.5p

Business Highlights

  • Property owned and under management up 131% to £2.5bn
  • Commercial rent roll owned and under management £152m
  • Successful acquisition and integration of Ashtenne Holdings plc
  • Acquisition goodwill on Ashtenne £11.2m, substantially less than £28.9m anticipated
  • Launch of £256m Apia Regional Office Fund with Morley Fund Management
  • Substantial expansion of Apia via the purchase of £120m of property
  • Establishment of the £312m Agora Max Shopping Centre Fund

Philip Warner, Chairman of Warner Estate commented "This has been another year of considerable achievement with the Group achieving a total adjusted return of 30.7% on its shareholders' triple net asset funds against an IPD return of 20.7%. and, following the successful integration of Ashtenne, assets under management rising from £1.1 bn to £2.5bn. We have made the move from 50:50 joint ventures to multi-investor funds.

The Group continues actively to seek opportunities and since the year end we have made a further acquisition for our Radial Distribution Fund and our first significant Central London office purchase for a number of years. We have a skilled and experienced team in place to ensure that progress continues."

Bell & Scott Acts for Ecosse Regeneration on Heartlands Development

Commercial property law firm Bell & Scott has acted on behalf of Ecosse Regeneration Ltd in the negotiation of a contract for the sale of residential land to Crest Nicholson plc with a gross development value for the first phase of 2,000 houses of approximately £300m. The land is part of one of the largest regeneration projects currently being undertaken in Europe - the Heartlands development in West Lothian.

Bell & Scott has been involved with this development from its inception, acting in the acquisition of the former Polkemmet deep mine colliery site from British Coal, and most recently concluding the negotiation of the planning agreements which saw the issue by West Lothian Council of the outline planning consent for the Heartlands development.

The project sees Crest Nicholson plc. take its first step into the Scottish market by securing the land, which has consent for 2,000 houses, with the possibility of consent for a further 3,000 to be developed over the next 15 years. The overall development will see, in addition to the residential development, the construction of two championship golf courses, a hotel and mixed use commercial development undertaken by Ecosse Regeneration.

Caroline Docherty, Partner and Head of Bell & Scott's Acquisition and Development team, headed up the team that represented Ecosse Regeneration. She comments: "We are very proud to have been involved in the very early stages of what will be a huge talking point in Scotland for years to come."

Heartlands is located close to the M8 between Edinburgh and Glasgow. The development is expected to be in full production for the 2007/08 financial year with an overall 15 year development programme.

Dickie Homes tee up with Elderslie Golf Club

Dickie Homes have just announced sponsorship of the Elderslie Trophy, an open
competition played over two rounds of golf at Elderslie Golf Club on Sunday 23 July 06. Dickie are providing £500 prize money for the competition, which attracts up to 80 entries from low handicap amateur golfers throughout central Scotland.

Dickie's sales and marketing director, Tara Fitzpatrick, comments: "We are building an exclusive development of four and five bedroom detached homes adjacent to the golf course, and it seemed appropriate to get involved with sponsorship at the local golf club. In addition, our new range of house types at Elder Grove is named after Scottish golf course - eg Gleddoch, Crail and Haddington - making the golf link even stronger!"

Dickie's new range of house types provides purchasers with a choice of flexible
layouts and the designs have been thoughtfully planned to meet the demands of contemporary family lifestyles. Prices at Elder Grove are from £335,000 and there is a showhome of the five bedroom Jedburgh design.

For further information, contact the marketing suite on: 01505 337 324 or visit the showhome, open daily, 11am to 5pm or visit: for a virtual tour of the showhome.

Whelan scores a hat trick as company picks up third award

Staff and clients of Whelan Construction Development - one of the northeast's leading independent construction firms are celebrating once again, having scooped a third award in recognition of their commercial development - Salvus House, Aykley Heads, Durham.

Whelan and architects Nicholson Nairn beat off stiff competition from property firms around the northeast, in their joint bid for the prestigious RICS Renaissance Award, which recognises excellence across the property sector.

Both companies were honoured best 'Commercial Project' at an annual presentation evening attended by some 400 representatives at Newcastle's Civic Centre, and were commended for the pioneering design and construction of the 3,300sq m flagship Salvus House, the new headquarters for international company Sunderland Marine Mutual Insurance.

Impressed judges described the building as 'exceptional in terms of design and quality' and were impressed by its entirely bespoke character, attention to internal surroundings, which incorporates a range of maritime features and the latest communications technology, and the overall consideration for the environment through its design.

The RICS announcement comes only months after Whelan was awarded the 'Commendation for Innovation' in the regions Constructing Excellence Awards, and the Journal's northeast's Landmark Award in for 'Best Contractor' earlier in September.

Tony Whelan, Commercial Director, commented, "We are absolutely delighted to win this award. This is the first year we have nominated projects and I think we have demonstrated our capabilities to the region, having notched up three awards within 9 months.

The RICS award is very appropriate - it recognises vision, determination, planning, skill, craftsmanship, best practice and community involvement - all of which are central to our company philosophy and a key part of our ongoing development. This award however, is not only a symbol of excellence to our clients, it is a thank you to our staff in recognising their efforts".

The RICS award comes as another success milestone for Whelan in a period of phenomenal growth and development. Earlier this year, the company announced a 50% increase in orders for 2006, four years ahead of schedule, and plans are now in place for the firm to relocate to new bespoke premises in December 2006 to house an increasing workforce.

Head of Agency appointed for Drivers Jonas Glasgow office

Following seven years with Drivers Jonas Scotland, Julie Mitchell has been appointed Head of Agency for Drivers Jonas Glasgow office. Julie joined Drivers Jonas in 1999 and is responsible for handling the disposal of some 2m sq ft of business space across Central Scotland.

Julie undertakes agency work on behalf of a number of clients including Henderson Global Investors, Co-op Group, First Group Plc and Pricoa Investment Management and is involved with a number of office properties and industrial estates.

Julie has also been involved in acquiring space for a number of corporate occupiers
and assisted in the identification of potential asset initiatives in the Royal Bank of Scotland property portfolio and with the disposal of surplus property within their estate. Julie has also carried out research and analysis work as well as
development appraisals for a number of property developments in central Scotland.

Alasdair Ramsay, Head of Drivers Jonas in Scotland, said:"We are delighted Julie is taking on this role - she has built up a great level of knowledge in the past seven years and has experience of a wide range of commercial property disciplines."

Major development deal announced for Dundee's creative media district

Details of a deal to build a second development at Dundee's creative media district Seabraes Yards have been revealed by site owners Scottish Enterprise Tayside.

Work will start this month on a four-storey, 28,000sq foot building which will be able to accommodate around 300 staff.

Scottish Enterprise Tayside has agreed the development deal for the one-acre site at the entrance to the project with Tayside Developments Ltd, part of the Foxdown Properties group.

The high-quality office building will be the first new-build development in Seabraes Yards, which is on a brownfield site in the heart of Dundee, and aimed at developing the digital media sector in Tayside. The development of the gateway site between the Sensation building and Vision@Seabraes, is being seen as a key part of the project.

The new building will have two wings either side of a central core and be constructed in line with the design masterplan for Seabraes Yards. It will be based on a structural steel frame, with high quality cladding materials including feature terracotta rain screen cladding. The accommodation within the building will be flexible and be able to house both small and large space users.

Marketing of the development to companies in the creative industries sector - one of six key sectors identified by Scottish Enterprise as vital to economic growth - will be carried out by Scottish Enterprise nationally and internationally and the developer has appointed Graham & Sibbald's Dundee office as letting agent.

Nick Day, competitive place director at Scottish Enterprise Tayside, said: "This is a significant deal in one of Tayside's most high-profile and important investment projects. More than 2,000 people are employed in the thriving creative media sector in Dundee and this will drive further growth.

"The building will house a number of creative industry companies and complement Vision@Seabraes by attracting new talent and further investment to the area as well as supporting indigenous companies."

Rod Brown, director of Foxdown Properties Ltd, said: "The building is due to be completed next Spring by the main design and build contractor Cameron Harris in association with James Barr Architecture, and is a positive step in the future redevelopment of Seabraes Yards. We anticipate several companies, some of them local, will take advantage of the high quality accommodation which will be provided within the building."

Occupying a 20-acre site on the main western approach to the city, Seabraes Yards was formerly known as Dundee Digital Media Park. The ambitious venture is the result of close collaboration between SE Tayside, the European Union and private and public sector organisations and is projected to result in £50million being injected into the area over the next 10 years.

Monday, June 19, 2023

Development Securities sells Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, retail investment for £26.5m

Development Securities, advised by BCM, has sold the freehold of the Princess of Wales Precinct and Long Causeway shopping centre in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire to a private investor for £26.5m. The deal reflects a net initial yield of 5.5%.

The 80,970 sq ft high street scheme comprises 25 retail units and is anchored by WH Smith, Boots and Argos. Other tenants include New Look, Mothercare and Burtons, providing a total rental income of £1,483,701 pa.

Tim Wills of BCM comments: "This property is in an excellent location within Dewsbury's prime shopping core. With 83% of the income secured against national multiple covenants it is a strong retail investment and this was reflected in the price achieved."

Capital & Counties appoints new Managing Director

Liberty International has announced the appointment of Ian Hawksworth as Managing Director of Capital & Counties, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Liberty International, with effect from 1 September 2006. He will also be joining the Board of Liberty International as an Executive Director, succeeding John Saggers who reaches his normal retirement date in the Autumn and will be stepping down as Managing Director of Capital & Counties in September and as an Executive Director of Liberty International at the end of October.

John has made a significant and valuable contribution to the affairs of Capital & Counties and to the Board of Liberty International, with responsibilities which have over his 33 year career with the group included UK commercial property, shopping centres and the group's international interests in the US and, formerly, Australia.

He is very pleased to welcome as his successor Ian Hawksworth (40), a chartered surveyor by training, who has been employed by Hongkong Land since 1993 and has been an Executive Director from 1996 until 2006 when he decided to relocate with his family to the UK. Ian's most recent role at Hongkong Land was as the Director responsible for Commercial Property. He has also been closely involved with Hongkong Land's regional expansion over the last five years into other Asian locations. Hongkong Land is one of Asia's leading property and infrastructure investment, management and development groups, owning and managing some 600,000m2 of prime office and retail space in the heart of Hong Kong's Central business district.

Sir Robert Finch, Chairman, commented: "We are delighted to announce Ian Hawksworth's appointment as Managing Director of Capital & Counties; he will bring a wealth of expertise and experience to the role. Capital & Counties has an excellent asset base and track record with an increasingly important retail business in Central London, elsewhere in the UK and in California. These activities complement our strong regional shopping centre business and we intend to continue to develop Capital & Counties' operations to the benefit of the overall activities of the group. We look forward immensely to Ian's arrival and to his contribution to the work of our Board"

BDP's Sheffield masterplan recognised by award

BDP's New Retail Quarter in Sheffield has won the BEX Award for Best Master Planning for a Regeneration Scheme. The news was announced at the second annual Building Exchange conference held in Madrid 7 - 9 June (2006).

The major theme of the second annual BEX awards was regeneration, reflecting the commitment of the industry to innovation, renewal and development in our living and working environments.

The winning masterplan reflects environmental social and commercial requirements and demonstrates the principles supporting the brief including those for land use, design density, transport, landscape and infrastructure.

Director Peter Coleman, DP's Head of Retail and Regeneration, said "The New Retail Quarter, designed for developer Hammerson, is intended to be a holistic strategy for regeneration involving the creation of new jobs, business activity and opportunities for new shopping, catering, leisure and city living in a townscape of character and quality. BDP's approach to the masterplan is to provide a retail led mixed use development in a network of open streets and covered urban spaces which will make a step change away from the enclosed monolithic type of shopping centre."

BDP also featured in the Awards when James Warne MEng CEng MInstE was runner up for the Most Promising Young Engineer Award. He was able to demonstrate a significant role in a successful project, a contribution to an innovative design and some imaginative research undertaken.

F&C; buys 200 Broomielaw in Glasgow's International Financial Services District

Further evidence of the growing popularity of Glasgow's International Financial Services District (IFSD) was revealed today with the news that its anchor building 200 Broomielaw has been sold. F&C; Property Asset Management has bought the building for £35.76 million.

The deal comes weeks after it was confirmed that global insurance giant Ace Group has taken 43,827 sq ft of the building, bringing up to 450 jobs to the city. The remainder of the space is let to design and engineering company Atkins Ltd.

Daniel Plummer, Head of Regional Offices at F&C; Property said: "This deal was a good opportunity to purchase into a rising market. 200 Broomielaw is a very well let building located in an up and coming location within central Glasgow. The city is seeing significant take up of Grade A office space and with it we expect significant rental growth over the next five years."

Bruce Walker, of developers Walker Group, said: "We are delighted to have sold the building so soon after landing two such fantastic tenants.

"There has been a huge amount of interest in the building over the past few months and we took the decision not to market it but to approach investors who had already registered an interest in the building privately.

"There cannot be a greater endorsement of the IFSD and Glasgow itself than the fact that there were a number of parties who made serious offers for a building of this scale.

"This is the culmination of a lot of work and we are grateful to everyone involved in the project including letting and investment agents and legal teams. A lot of midnight oil was burned getting this deal completed!"

He added: "Walker Group is actively looking for investment and development stock and I am hoping to announce a new acquisition soon."

Ironically, Glasgow now faces a shortfall in the provision of office accommodation following the letting of 6 Atlantic Quay, Sentinel, Central Exchange (now Clydesdale Bank Exchange) and Optima. Only Aurora on Bothwell Street remains unlet although one floor is currently under offer.

Bruce added: "These large lettings are reinforcing the fact that Glasgow is a fantastic place to do business with excellent transport links and a great workforce. We hope that other developers will capitalise on the growing demand for top quality office accommodation in the city."

Cushman & Wakefield and Bell & Scott acted for Walker Group. F&C; Property acted on behalf of the FPLAL Commercial Fund.

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Ryden to study Hamilton town centre

Ryden has just been awarded a contract by South Lanarkshire Council to undertake a study of Quarry Street in Hamilton town centre, aimed at making recommendations to safeguard its future.

Quarry Street lies at the heart of Hamilton's traditional core retailing area but has recently come under pressure from modern retail park developments on the edge of the town centre resulting in an increasing number of vacant retail units. However, the town's historic built environment, its Conservation Area status and good bus, train and motorway connections suggest that opportunities exist to diversify and improve the current property market.

The three-month study is considering a broad spectrum of property options including new residential, business space, evening economy and enhancing the existing retail offer. The study will benefit from input from the Lanarkshire Chamber of Commerce and the Hamilton Town Group.

South Lanarkshire Councillor Chris Thompson, Chair of Enterprise Resources Committee commented: "It is an exciting time for Hamilton Town Centre with continuing investment from both the public and private sectors helping drive forward regeneration and development including the recently announced extension to the neighbouring Regent Way Shopping Centre. South Lanarkshire Council has made a long term commitment to ensuring the future of traditional town centres and this study is an important piece of the jigsaw, providing vital information that will help ensure there continues to be a thriving, mixed economy in the centre of Hamilton."

Iain Wardrop, Associate in Ryden's Consulting group said: "We are pleased to have won this challenging instruction and have already begun to investigate existing property uses in the Quarry Street area of the town centre. Our research involves applying our property market research, economic development and planning skills to identify uses which are both commercially viable and acceptable in planning terms".

Colliers CRE buys Locum Consulting for £2m

Real estate consultancy service group Colliers CRE has bought Locum Consulting Group Ltd for £2m and has acquired a 60% stake in Irish affiliate Colliers Jackson-Stops for ?4.8m.

Locum works with the owners, managers and developers of destinations ranging from regions and cities, through to artistic and cultural attractions, leisure parks and event venues. Its clients include operators, investors, developers, funding bodies, government agencies, regional and national authorities and public-private partnerships.

In its last financial year, ending 30 September 2005, Locum Consulting had an annual turnover of £1.8m and Colliers CRE has agreed a cash and shares deal valued at £2m which will be paid over the next three years.

Locum will remain a separate trading company and brand within the Colliers CRE group of companies and will be an integral part of the consulting offer within the Group. The 20 strong team will retain the Locum office in Haywards Heath while building a Locum presence at Colliers' offices throughout the UK. Richard Tibbott and Sean Young will remain Chairman and Managing Director respectively and Mike Roberts, Colin Knott and Mark Sample, all at Colliers CRE, will join the Locum Consulting Board.

Sean Young, managing director at Locum Consulting, commented: "Colliers CRE has the size, knowledge and reputation, as well as a strong regional presence, to help us make the desired step change in scale and performance. Through the Colliers International network we will also be able to get involved in further work overseas. We thought long and hard about which company would provide the best platform for future growth and the best fit with our culture and work ethos. Colliers CRE is the ideal partner."

David Izett, managing director at Colliers CRE, added: "Locum Consulting has a first class reputation and will provide us with the opportunity to build up a quality offering in the sports, leisure and destination consulting arena, as well as enhance our current regeneration and planning capabilities. This acquisition is an important part of our growth plans for the company as we expand our offering both in the UK and abroad."

Savills expands in Edinburgh with director appointment

Savills has further expanded its Edinburgh commercial office with the appointment of Robin Blacklock as Director of Business Space.

Robin joins from the Edinburgh office of CBRE where he worked for seven years. Clients included Prudential, Grosvenor, Financial Services Authority and Abbey.

Robin says: "The opportunity to join Savills was too good to turn down. It's a fresh and exciting challenge and one which I?m looking forward to immensely".

Keith Dobson, Head of the Edinburgh office comments: "Robin is a major player in the Scottish market and will bring with him a wealth of specialist knowledge and experience. Savills continues to expand the team with key appointments in core areas of business."

Robin's appointment is the second recent expansion of the team in Edinburgh following the recruitment of Paul Stevenson in the investment team and the move to new offices in the city.

New leading fashion quarter takes shape in Bristol city centre

Bristol Alliance has announced that four more leading fashion retailers have joined the impressive line up of high street fashion brands secured for the 1m sq ft redevelopment of Bristol city centre.

All four retailers are new to Bristol. Zara and Bershka, two of Spain's best loved fashion names, have signed for flagship stores of 22,000 sq ft and 5,700 sq ft respectively, and it is to be one of the first stores in the UK for recent entrant Bershka. Reiss and Schuh have also signed, joining previously announced retailers such as New Look, H&M;, TopShop and Dorothy Perkins who have all committed to MSUs.

These lettings, together with the 170,000 sq ft House of Fraser anchor department store and Harvey Nichols in the heart of Quakers Friars, are set to create one of the strongest fashion offers outside of London with some of the country's most recognised brands.

Keith Stone, Bristol Alliance leasing director, said; "We are delighted to have so many leading fashion retailers committed at this point in the programme, essentially giving Bristol the thumbs up as the UK's next fashion hot spot. We are now over 50% let by floor area - either signed or in solicitors' hands - which is well ahead of our programme. There are further lettings in the pipeline, including a number of exciting cafés and restaurants which demonstrates how Bristol will make the dramatic change to a vibrant 24 hour city, reflecting its affluent and aspirational catchment."

Cinema deluxe, with over 3,000 seats is already signed as are other non-fashion retailers such as Virgin, Ernest Jones, Goldsmiths, H Samuel and Fraser Hart. One of the highest profile mixed-use developments in the UK, the Bristol scheme will provide over 100 retail units, leisure uses including restaurants, cafes and a cinema, as well as apartments, offices and public spaces. Work on the development started in September last year and the main site construction is now well underway with the new ring road recently completed and opened. The development is on track for opening in Autumn 2008.

The Bristol Alliance is a joint venture between Land Securities Group plc and Hammerson plc. Letting agents are Donaldsons and Lunson Mitchenall.

Prudential sells Glasgow retail investment with development potential for £31m

Prudential, advised by Strutt & Parker, has sold 20-28 Buchanan Street and 38-47 Argyll Arcade, Glasgow, to HBG Properties, part of the Dutch conglomerate Royal BAM Group nv for a price of £31m reflecting a net initial yield of circa 4.1%.

The prominent 62,225 sq ft retail block is arranged over basement, ground and six upper floors and comprises 3 prime retail units let to Bally, Early Learning Centre and Dorothy Perkins fronting Buchanan Street, with speciality Jewellers in Argyll Arcade.

Gavin Hendry Divisional Partner of Strutt & Parker's retail investment team, said: "The price achieved reflects a rare opportunity to acquire a substantial block of well let property in a 100% prime retail pitch with significant and real development potential to create added value."

Inglis Howie acted for HBG properties.

Atisreal Manchester launches office agency division

Atisreal's Manchester office has completed its portfolio of services with the appointment of Tim Taylor as Directory of Agency to spearhead the business space division.

The Business Space Department will operate in addition to Investment and Occupational Agency, Valuations and Lease Advisory, Building Consultancy and Health and Safety, to complete the commercial property service that Atisreal Manchester provide.

Tim joins from Hartnell Taylor Cook where he was Director in Charge of Agency, a role which encompassed all aspects of commercial agency including investment brokerage, industrial, office and retail agency. Prior to this, Tim was Associate Director in charge of office agency in Manchester's Jones Lang LaSalle office.

Andrew Hamilton, Head of Atisreal Manchester office says; "We have been operating under the Atisreal banner for a year now and the opening of an Office Agency Division has always been in line with our intended growth strategy. We wanted to ensure that we found the right person to head up the team and to have an experienced Director with such extensive market knowledge as Tim is a real coup. Having worked in the Manchester market for over 28 years, Tim is the ideal addition to our already strong team."

Tim continues; "It's a very exciting time to be joining the Atisreal Manchester office. I was keen to head up a new division within an agency and chose Atisreal because they are such a progressive company and are highly focussed on business growth. I'm looking forward to building up the Business Space Division and increasing its profile within the market."

Pylons to go underground in £4m removal programme

A run of seven electricity pylons and overhead cables at Braehead, Renfrew Riverside, Glasgow is being demolished and routed underground in a £4m programme that will transform the amenity of one of Scotland's fastest growing communities.

The pylons currently run from the Braehead sub-station, passing by existing housing and through planned residential development at Renfrew Riverside before terminating at Titanium Business Park near Braehead Shopping Centre.

The removal programme, which is being funded by Capital Shopping Centres, will bring substantial benefits to a major area of Renfrew Riverside where up to 2000 new homes are to be built. It is one of the largest 'over-to-underground' power cable projects to be undertaken in Scotland for a number of years.

The work will start in July with initial construction and ground preparation works. Underground pipelines and 132,000 Volt cables will be installed in early 2007 and the pylons and overhead wires will be removed in summer 2007, with the entire project finishing in early autumn 2007.

The principal contractor, SP Energy Networks, together with consulting engineers ACTS Partnership, will oversee the programme, which will include specialist works in engineering, land clearance, cable installation, switching, testing and landscaping.

"Removing the pylons and routing the power cables underground will bring major benefits to residents, businesses and visitors to Renfrew Riverside" said Richard Cable, Development Director for Capital Shopping Centres, which owns Braehead and is leading the development of Renfrew Riverside. "We have been keen to remove the pylons and route the power cables underground for some time and are delighted that work is now about to start. It marks another milestone in our overall plan to regenerate the area and bring significant new investment to Renfrewshire."

Jamie Byrne, Project Manager with SP Energy Networks added: "We are delighted to have won the contract to remove the pylons at Renfrew Riverside. It is a highly specialised project that will make a major difference to this increasingly popular part of Renfrewshire".

Building a substantial new residential community is a key part of Capital Shopping Centres' ongoing strategy to develop Renfrew Riverside and Braehead into Scotland's leading 'Work Life Leisure' destination. The success of the Braehead shopping centre, which now attracts around 20 million visitors a year, has been the catalyst that has enabled this next phase of development.

When complete, the new residential community at Renfrew Riverside is expected to host a population of around 4,500 people. There are also plans for up to 750,000 sq ft of offices, including Riverside Braehead, a new business park for companies wishing to buy their own commercial premises. New leisure and public facilities are already open, including Xscape Braehead, the new 7 acre Clyde View Park and a network of new roads, paths and cycle tracks.

Just over ten years ago Braehead was characterised by brownfield sites and redundant industrial premises. Now, around 4300 people are employed directly on site and many more off site, with direct employment expected to grow further during the next five years.

Wednesday, June 07, 2023

BDP and HLM Architects win £320m Sheffield school building programme

BDP and HLM Architects have scooped the architectural lead for Sheffield City Council's massive, £320m school buildings programme. HLM and BDP are part of the Paradigm consortium led by Taylor Woodrow, which has been provisionally appointed as the council's partner to create excellent learning environments that match the expectations of the 21st Century.

Sheffield is a Pathfinder in the Government's national Building Schools for the Future programme, which is the single biggest capital investment into schools infrastructure the country has ever seen. The £320m BSF investment, together with the work already completed and in progress through Private Finance Initiative, means that every secondary school in the city will have been rebuilt or radically refurbished by 2015.

For HLM Architects it is a massive achievement. Chris Liddle, chairman of the practice, said: "we consolidated our business plan two years ago, identifying the education sector and the BSF programme as a key target for the practice. Having invested over £250,000 in research and development, we made our first bid for the Sheffield BSF project, and we won!"

BDP architect director David Clarke said "This programme will produce a step change in Sheffield's educational facilities through iconic buildings, the latest technology and facilities designed for use by the whole community. The win is an endorsement of the partners' approach to large public projects and a structured management approach to facilitate working together. It should be noted however that BSF is not just a buildings programme; we are also interested in the partnering ability of Paradigm and are pleased to be working with HLM architects in developing good affordable designs."

HLM and BDP will undertake the £158m first phase of BSF in Sheffield, followed by two further phases of similar value. The schools to be rebuilt include Newfield, Silverdale and Talbot Special Educational Needs School (which will be rebuilt on the same site as Newfield).

Also included in Phase 1 is the refurbishment of High Storrs, two pupil referral units and some redevelopment work at Firth Park. A brand new SEN school will also be built in the north of the city. All Phase 1 schools are expected to be completed by 2009.

As a result of the comprehensive programme of school building work in the city, including BSF, two out of three secondary school students will be in new or significantly refurbished buildings by 2009 (16,664 students out of projected secondary school population of 25,479).

Cllr Harry Harpham, Cabinet Member for Children's Services, said: "I believe passionately in giving young people the opportunity to be inspired about their future and the future of their city. We must make sure they have all the facilities they need, and rebuilding our secondary schools is an excellent opportunity to do this."

"Working with Paradigm gives us a tremendous opportunity to put into practice the vision we've been working towards for a number of years", says Jonathan Crossley-Holland, Executive Director of Children & Young People's Services, Sheffield City Council. "This has been a jointly developed vision with heads, their staff and governors, who have played a key role in the selection of the preferred bidder."

Caroline Buckingham, director of HLM Architects, said: "Design is critical in maximising the learning potential of students. We have worked hard to dissipate the tension between design quality and budgetary constraints, while ensuring the optimum building size is delivered. This is a challenge for any thinking architect and we, working with BDP as our local partner, have overcome it. Our design solutions will transform educational provision in Sheffield."

Sheffield City Council and Paradigm, once formally appointed in the coming weeks, will work together with Partnerships for Schools on their negotiations. PfS is the agency responsible for delivering BSF on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills and have worked alongside Sheffield in achieving this significant milestone.

The Officers Club seeks high street units on turnover leases

The Officers Club has announced a requirement for retail units throughout the south of England on turnover leases, one of a growing number of retailers seeking units on this basis.

The Officers Club has instructed Leslie Furness, its retained agent in the south of England, to find units of 1,000 sq ft to 3,500 sq ft in busy fashion locations, particularly in shopping centres. As well as stipulating turnover leases only, the retailer is seeking terms of one to five years.

All major locations south of the M4 and M25 will be considered.

The Officers Club's retained agent in the north of England, Glen-Davison Angus, has recently undertaken a similar exercise and has so far succeeded in placing six units under offer on a turnover lease basis.

The move by The Officers Club follows a letter it issued to landlords earlier this year requesting three months' rent free and monthly, rather than quarterly rents, against a background in which the discount menswear sector is experiencing tough trading conditions.

It also comes at a time when the British Retail Consortium is leading a push to change the way rents are paid to property owners from quarterly to monthly, more closely reflecting the factory outlet sector in which turnover rents are also the norm.

Richard Lyons of Leslie Furness comments: "The Officers Club is seeking to expand in the south while naturally wishing to keep overheads to a minimum during a difficult trading environment which has seen Ciro Citterio and Eisenegger, among others, fall by the wayside. Their approach to securing leases is most likely to appeal to property owners who have redevelopment plans pending and would benefit from short-term income from a nationally recognised retailer."

The Officers Club has 180 stores UK-wide.

£75m Ayr Central shopping centre set for completion

The £75 million shopping centre in the heart of Ayr town centre will mark its completion this week with a week-long programme of events including VIP store openings and culminating with a community fun day on Saturday 10 June.

Ayr Central's completion marks the end of almost six years of intense development activity by the centre developer Henry Boot Developments.

Phase one of the development opened in March 2006, with Debenhams reporting their strongest store opening in the UK and, Next and H&M; well ahead of target. The completion of the final phase sees fashion store Primark and HMV open their doors to the public today, with HMV hosting a VIP ribbon cutting by Channel 4 Hollyoaks actors Tuesday 6 June.

The 32,517 sq m (350,000 sq ft) shopping complex has transformed a former town-centre brownfield site, which lay derelict for 15 years, into one of the UK's most innovative hybrid retail developments.

Alan Kinloch, Regional Development Manager of Henry Boot Developments, developer at Ayr Central, says: "We are delighted to open Ayr Central shopping centre to the public and believe that we have produced a retail environment that blends in superbly well with the town around it, yet offers a distinct and attractive shopping experience.

"The new openings of HMV and Primark highlight a significant milestone in the development of Ayr Central which is already pulling people in from north Glasgow, Dumfries and even Carlisle.

"I am very proud of this development and look forward to celebrating the completion of it with a community fun day on 10 June 2006. We hope that this development will attract thousands of visitors during the spring and summer months and contribute to the civic pride of Ayr town centre."

Existing retailers will soon be joined by Hallmark Cards, Subway and Costa Coffee, with other high profile high street occupiers expected to be announced shortly.

Also opening this week is the UK's largest single level underground car park which has 495 spaces and lies underneath the development.

Ayr Central is set to have an immediate impact on the centre of Ayr and indeed the west of Scotland. Once open, its size and tenant mix will, according to CACI, catapult Ayr to fifth strongest retail destination in Scotland, above Braehead, Perth, Falkirk, Stirling, Inverness and East Kilbride. The new complex will also attract an additional 400 new jobs to the area and increase the weekly number of shoppers in Ayr from 136,000 to over 240,000 and during the summer months this figure is expected to rise to above 300,000 people.

A new concept in retail development, Ayr Central is a hybrid development which utilises the best qualities of out of town retail accommodation but places this within a town centre location with a town centre design. It is believed to be the first shopping centre of its kind in the UK to offer fully flexible units with double height mezzanine options, offering potential retailers greater choice of large unit space.

Designed by enterprising design team, i10 Design, there is strong emphasis placed on natural Scottish materials. The striking Caithness slab and red sandstone fronted development houses some of the biggest names in UK retailing and houses 'Taran Square' - the first new open air public space to be created in Ayr for more than 300 years.

Friday, June 02, 2023

Knight Real Estate acquires CapRock Communications site for £4m development

Proactive property developer Knight Real Estate Ltd has completed a deal to purchase a site to build a new headquarters building for satellite communications company, CapRock Communications. The £4m development involves land acquisition, demolition of one existing building and a new build office facility which will then be leased back to CapRock.

The project comprises the acquisition of CapRock's two existing buildings at Denmore Road, Bridge of Don in Aberdeen. CapRock will remain on site during the project and the lease on the building has been re-geared. The other building will be demolished and replaced with a 14,000sq ft 2-storey office block and CapRock has taken a 20 year lease over the facilities.

Howard Crawshaw, director of Knight commented, "We are delighted to be working with CapRock to provide a turnkey solution to their requirements for a new UK headquarters building. Having identified that their existing site was in the perfect location and had the available space to accommodate the company it was then up to Knight to make these plans a reality. We have been able to facilitate the purchase of both buildings, redeveloping one to suit and leasing both back on a 20-year term."

Architects and planning supervisors, Space Solutions has designed the new building which will offer high specification office and storage facilities for the growing satellite communications company.

Ian Ford, managing director of UK operations for CapRock, said, "We are in no doubt that once complete, our new facility including office and Network Operations Centre will improve our capabilities and provide an impressive platform to develop our UK operations further."

The site has been cleared and the new steel structure is being erected, to be ready for occupation in November 2006.

Simpson Buglass of Graham & Sibbald, Chartered Surveyors is representing CapRock on this project.

Barclays takes new space in The Athenaeum, Glasgow

One of the UK's largest financial services companies Barclays has taken 4,571 sq.ft within The Athenaeum, 8 Nelson Mandela Place, Glasgow from landlords CAA Pension Fund.

The expansion is in addition to the Bank's existing space within the building which they acquired following the recent decision by the Bank to bring its mortgage processing operations in-house following the end of the companies' contract with Global Home Loans (GHL).

Barclays have taken a lease until 2014 over this new accommodation at a total annual rental of £67,423 per annum. The accommodation comprises of the First Floor (South suite) and now brings the Bank's total occupation within the entire First floor to 9,699 sqft.

This leaves 5,190 sqft available within the building on the Second Floor (North suite) where CAA Pension Fund are quoting £15.00 per sq.ft

Andy Cunningham, Director within the Office Agency Team at LSH Glasgow said: "The fact that this floor has let following completion of the recent refurbishment within the building speaks volumes about the quality of the works. It is also an excellent deal for Barclays as it means they can merge their operations within the building and now have total control over the First floor to assist their rapid plans for growth.

"The Athenaeum is located in a highly sought after location within the city centre midway between both Central and Queen Street Railway Stations and is an example of the high quality accommodation that is constantly in demand from occupiers."

Mike Buchan of Jones Lang LaSalle said: "We are pleased to have been able to acquire space for Barclays which met its approval in such a short time frame. It is top quality office space in the ideal location for the company."

Barclays was advised by the Glasgow office of Jones Lang LaSalle.

GVA Grimley announces new partners for the firm

GVA Grimley has promoted four new equity partners to the firm. All have been promoted from within the business. Tim Crossley-Smith formerly head of valuation of CBRE, has also been appointed as an equity, partner, bringing the total number of equity partners to 71.

Lisa Riva from the Property Management Consultancy Business Unit division based in London becomes the youngest equity partner in the firm, at 33 years old. She is joined by Paul Manning from the Rating team based in the Leeds office, while Martin Walker and Mike Blinco, Directors of the fromspecialist project management business divisionGVA Second London Wall, haves also been promoted.

There has also been a range of internal promotions to non-equity partner from 1st May 2006, bringing the total number of non-equity partners to 135.

In London, John Allan (Industrial), Nicola Webb (Industrial), Michael Taylor (Planning, Development & Regeneration), Lorne Satchwell (Telecoms), Ros Goode (Valuation Services), Jon Knowles (Building and Project Management Consultancy), Steve Taylor (Residential), Nigel Watson (GVA ACR) and Richard Taylor (Building and Project Management Consultancy) have all been promoted to non equity partner.

In Birmingham, Paul Farmer (Health), Craig Alsbury (Planning Development & Regeneration) and Jessamy Venables (Healthcare) have also been promoted.

In Leeds, Rob Oliver (Industrial) has been promoted. In Manchester, Paul Farmer (Healthcare), Damian Masters (Development) and Chris Cheap (Offices) have also been promoted.

In Edinburgh, Toby Withall (Offices) has been promoted and in Bristol, Andrew Huish (Valuation Services) has also been promoted.

The firm has also made Mark Rawstron, Regional Senior Partner for Manchester and Mark Brunsdon, Regional Senior Partner for Bristol.

Chief Executive, Bob Barnett, said: "We strive to create a working environment that encourages entrepreneurship and rewards high performance, enabling our best people to rise through the organisation. It is this partnership structure which we find is appealing to ambitious professionals, and is enabling us to develop a highly skilled and well managed team, which is among the best in the industry."

London & Associated Properties pre-lets 20,000 sq ft Sheffield retail unit at record rent

London & Associated Properties has pre-let a new 20,000 sq ft retail unit, currently under construction, in its Orchard Square centre in Sheffield to River Island at annual rent of £667,500, equivalent to £230 a sq ft Zone A, a record for the centre.

The new unit is being created from the former Dixons and Index shops, on which LAP negotiated lease surrenders last year, at a total cost of approximately £2m and is expected to be completed by mid-2007. The two units previously generated annual rental income of £535,000.

This latest development at Orchard Square, which LAP acquired seven years ago for £15.775m, reflects the company's strategy of intensely managing its investment properties as it seeks to enhance both income and capital value. At the time of acquisition Orchard Square generated gross annual rents of £1.3m. Including this latest letting the rent roll now stands at £2.2m with further rental growth to come through during the course of 2006-7.

The pre-letting to River Island will have an important impact on other tenants at Orchard Square who are currently paying a maximum rent of just £200 a sq ft Zone A.

Finally, the redevelopment will also create a second smaller shop unit that when let will, it is estimated, produce rental income of approximately £80,000 a year. This will add more than £200,000 a year of additional rents from the scheme and take the income generated by this part of Orchard Square to almost £ 750,000 a year. Additionally the development enables two floors of offices to be freed up and amalgamated into the existing office space at the front of the shopping centre.

John Heller, LAP's Chief Executive, said: 'This pre-letting to River Island demonstrates the success of our management strategy at Orchard Square and has enabled us to dramatically improve the centre's rental income and capital value. This also reflects our ability to deliver excellent shareholder returns from our shopping centre assets.'