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.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

King Sturge completes £30m distribution unit deal at Coventry

King Sturge completed the sale on behalf of a private investment fund of a 285,000 sq ft distribution unit near Coventry Airport.

A major distribution unit near Coventry Airport has been snapped up by a private investment fund for £30m - highlighting the increasing significance of the airport in the wake of its proposed future growth.

The 285,000 ft² unit, along with 16 acres of expansion land is let to Unipart, the UK's largest independent supplier of car and truck parts.

Andrew Price, a partner in the Birmingham-based investment team of international property consultants King Sturge, who completed the sale on behalf of a private in-house fund, said: "The purchaser considered the location next to Coventry Airport as being of real long-term value. The purchaser had seen how Middlemarch had developed over recent years to become one of Coventry's premier business parks and believed that medium term prospects for further investment performance on such secure stock were also very good."

The deal is one of three major transactions involving the sale of over £50m worth of industrial units in the Midlands to have been completed by Mr Price during the last three months. "The disposals clearly indicate that investors still have a healthy appetite for acquiring properties offering well secured, long term industrial income," he said.

Mr Price added: "The King Sturge investment team has achieved an extremely successful first-half of its financial year and in addition to a further £80m worth of industrial property under offer we also have another £40m of property currently on the market. Achievements to date have been partly driven by our previous successes in buying for clients and we anticipate recording a healthy sales programme throughout the remainder of the year."


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Ciref makes retail acquisition in Wakefield

Ciref Ltd has announced that Trinity Walk Wakefield Ltd, in which Ciref holds a 50% interest, has exchanged contracts to acquire the benefit of the conditional development agreement with Wakefield City Council to complete a 515,000 sq ft new retail scheme on a 28 acre site in Wakefield town centre.

Detailed planning consent has been granted for this retail centre with an estimated completion value of £215m. Construction is due to commence on site in April 2007, subject to confirmation of the Compulsory Purchase Order, with completion anticipated by Spring 2010.

Contracts have already been exchanged for a major preletting to: Debenhams for a department store of approximately 95,000 sq ft; Sainsbury's for a food store of approximately 92,000 sq ft; and with Next for a 20,500 sq ft retail store.

The scheme will revitalise the city centre providing over 50 retail units on 3 levels, 72 residential units, a new indoor market hall and a 960 space car park.

Mark Sennett a director of Corovest International Ltd, the Property Adviser to CIREF, said: "We are delighted that CIREF has signed this major contract jointly with Modus Properties and Simons Developments and we are looking forward to working with Wakefield City Council and the local community on this prestigious scheme so soon after listing on AIM. I believe that Trinity Walk will completely rejuvenate Wakefield and establish the town centre as an important strategic shopping destination."


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Hermes balances industrial portfolio in Liverpool

Boulevard Industry Park and Estuary Commerce Park in Speke were purchased for £58m

King Sturge has completed the acquisition of Boulevard Industry Park and Estuary Commerce Park on behalf of Hermes Pension Fund. Hermes bought the estates, treated as a single entity, from Standard Life for £58m, reflecting a net initial yield of 5.25%.

Boulevard Industry Park and Estuary Commerce Park are in Speke, Liverpool and comprise 10 units, which were developed at the end of the 1990's, totalling 703,852 ft². (65,388 m²) The purchase presents a secure income stream for Hermes which has acquired the investment on behalf of clients, Royal Mail Pension Plan.

The acquisition has helped to redress the balance of the portfolio which was underweight in the industrial sector. The Boulevard Industry Park is well positioned to benefit from the regeneration in Liverpool and the associated closing of the rental gap between Manchester and Liverpool.

Successful completion was achieved with the help of both King Sturge Liverpool and the Hermes Team based in London. The management will be retained by King Sturge in Manchester.


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£5m Airdrie Business Centre set to launch today

Businesses looking to re-locate or expand will have the chance to tour Successful Lanarkshire's newest business location on Thursday 26 October.

The £5 million Airdrie Business Centre, with its unusual living moss roof and 'green' credentials, is already proving a hit with local companies, welcoming five new tenants and nearly 40 jobs since it opened two months ago.

Local businesses Gordon Ferguson Chartered Accountants, Malcolm J Boyd Sheriff Officers, DFDS Lysline, C Moffat Electrical Services and Success Training have are now based at the landmark building, which is North Lanarkshire Council's first build for a decade.

Lynne Hunter, Director at Success Training, which delivers work-based training through the Skill Seekers programme said: "We were on the waiting list for Airdrie Business Centre to expand our headquarters into a high profile building. Airdrie Business Centre fitted the bill exactly. We moved in at the beginning of September and as we're opening a new Learn Direct Centre we're considering further expansion into one of the bigger offices."

She added: "Airdrie Business Centre supports business growth as it's flexible and allows for expansion. It also has technology that is second to none, catering for all types and sizes of business."

At the launch, guests will be able to tour the building's facilities, including 32 remaining offices - ranging from 17 sq m to 133 sq m each fully wired for modern ITC requirements, including broadband access - the concierge-style reception and four meeting rooms for up to 16 people with AV suite available for hire by both tenants and external companies.

Also on show will be the Centre's 'green' credentials. Constructed on sustainable principles, Airdrie Business Centre is energy efficient and fully accredited by the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM), a nation-wide benchmark, assessing the environmental quality of buildings.

Materials were selected to prevent heat loss and preserve energy and an innovative stack effect extract system provides natural ventilation. The living moss roof, which flowers seasonally, is an environmentally-friendly insulation and ventilation system.

David Porch, Director of Planning and Environment North Lanarkshire Council, said: "Airdrie Business Centre is a great asset to Successful Lanarkshire. Our £5m investment shows our commitment to the business community in Airdrie and in Lanarkshire and we're delighted that companies are recognising the benefits of the area as one of the UK's most successful business locations by choosing Airdrie Business Centre. With its excellent connections by road, rail or air to Glasgow, Edinburgh and beyond, and flexible leases for office spaces, Airdrie Business Centre is an ideal base for growing businesses."


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Friday, October 20, 2023

River Clyde regeneration stars at WaterfrontExpo

Waterfront development experts from around the world have been amazed by the transformation taking place along the banks of the River Clyde.

The endorsement of the £5.6 billion Clyde Waterfront redevelopment project came from the 520 participants from 34 countries attending WaterfrontExpo 2006, the world's largest conference and exhibition focusing of global waterfront development, staged in Glasgow.

The organisers of the event, Media Generation Events Ltd, also hailed the conference the biggest and most successful since its inauguration four years ago.

Mark Beaumont of Media Generation, said: "Coming to Glasgow and Scotland has been a great experience for us. Without doubt it has been our most successful and biggest event to date. We have had excellent support and great hospitality."

"Importantly the delegates have been able to see for themselves the quality and massive scale of the regeneration being undertaken and relate it to what they themselves are doing. The event has provided valuable exposure for this superb project."

His comments were reinforced by key professionals involved in major waterfront developments around the world.

Juergen Bruns-Berentelg, CEO of HafenCity, Hamburg, Germany, told delegates during his keynote address: "I was in Glasgow thirty years ago when I was studying and I'm amazed at the transformation that has taken place."

Lev Pukshansky, Vice President of Marine Façade Ltd, responsible for the Saint Petersburg, Russia, regeneration project covering 450 hectares and costing $1.5 billion, said: "I am highly impressed by what I have seen here and the progress that has been made. We have just begun our project and it is very important for me to be here and in a way see the future of our own development, it's like being in a time machine. This has been an excellent conference and exhibition. We have been able to see or hear about virtually every major waterfront development in the world."

Maureen Thomson, an ex-pat Scot living in South Africa who is Executive Manager: Marketing & Corporate Affairs for V&A; Waterfront, Cape Town, said: "I think the regeneration along the Clyde is really excellent, especially after the years of the river lying derelict and empty of people. It's about developing a waterfront with the main purpose of bringing people back to live here by offering them a piece of history as well as a new experience."

Peter Kearns, Executive Director of Clyde Waterfront, the partnership body responsible for coordinating and promoting the river's renaissance, said: "Hosting this event has delivered what it promised, a unique opportunity to showcase the regeneration of the River Clyde to a global audience. Clyde Waterfront has become the front door to opportunity which is now being promoted by both the public and private sectors."

He rated the WaterfrontExpo event as an 'unparalleled and stimulating learning experience' for everyone involved in revitalising the River Clyde and its communities.

During the three day conference and exhibition delegates heard details of 12 major waterfront development projects including Clyde Waterfront, Waterfront Edinburgh, Manchester, Chicago, Wellington, Lisbon, Saint-Petersburg, Orestad, HafenCity, Toronto, Oslo and Porto Cristovao, Brazil - the first South American city to participate.

Top line international business leaders also addressed the conference on key issues including Positioning Cities in a Competitive Global Marketplace, Funding & Infrastructure, Sustainable Waterfront Cities, Creating Liveable Waterfront Cities and Rebuilding New Orleans and the Gulf Coast - Post Katrina.

Focus sessions were held to debate and discuss among other topics the social aspects of waterfront development such as connecting with communities and an integrated approach to waterfront regeneration.

The largest ever schedule of local tours and field events was arranged for participants.

Lisbon will host WaterfrontExpo 2007 and the event will return to the UK the following year with Liverpool as the host city.


The new Property Executive business directory is now online. To add a free listing for your company or to search for property companies across the UK click here.

Property Executive business directory passes 100

After only a month live the Property Executive business directory already has over 100 company listings. From Aalpha Staff Solutions Ltd to the website covers all sectors of the commercial property industry.

Basic listings on the website are free so add your firm today, also you can have separate listings for each of your offices ensuring the maximum possible exposure for your business.

Property Executive business directory

Miller expands offices team with the appointment of Jonathan Wallis

Miller Developments has expanded its offices team with the appointment of Jonathan Wallis as Director of Offices in England and Wales.

Jonathan joins from Jones Lang La Salle where he worked for nine years and was director of national investment. Prior to that he worked at DTZ Debenham Thorpe in the offices and industrial leasing and development team. Jonathan has over thirteen years of property experience.

Andrew Sutherland, joint managing director at Miller Developments, comments: "Jonathan is an excellent addition to our team bringing with him invaluable experience. He will be responsible for expanding our activities and growing the business in the office sector across England and Wales.

Jonathan will be based at the London office at 28 Dover Street, W1.


The new Property Executive business directory is now online. To add a free listing for your company or to search for property companies across the UK click here.

SJ Berwin LLP advises Gazeley on acquisition of 40 acre development site in Liverpool

Corporate and commercial law firm SJ Berwin LLP has advised Gazeley on the acquisition of a 40 acre site in East Lancashire Road, just outside Liverpool. The site was acquired from United Utilities Property Solutions Ltd a subsidiary of United Utilities for just over £11.9m.

Gazeley intends to develop the site for warehouse/distribution use through the G Park template being employed nationwide.

Darren Rogers summarised: "It is exciting that the acquisition will foster on-going links between the clients. The team work between both sides was an important and refreshing factor in ensuring that the deadlines were met."

The SJ Berwin team was led by Darren Rogers, associate, advising on real estate issues with associate Melissa King, associate Jo Bainton advising on planning and Giles Bavister, on tax. United Utilities was advised by real estate partner Peter Kershaw of Addleshaw Goddard assisted by Colette Banks.


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King Sturge acts on £140m acquisition

Morley Fund Management buys offices in the new Spinningfields business district

Morley Fund Management, on behalf of Norwich Union Property Trust, bought the 180,000 ft² 3 Hardman Square let to law firm Halliwells and the 52,000 ft² 4 Hardman Square at a yield close to 4.75%.

Both buildings are designed by Foster & Partners.

Half the space in 4 Hardman Square is let to accounting firm Grant Thornton. HSBC is said to be close to signing for the remaining 26,000 ft².

Morley has bought a 250-year lease on the office element of the two buildings, while the five restaurants below remain in Allied London's possession.

Allied chief executive Mike Ingall said: "Our ultimate aim is to establish a separate investment vehicle for the retail element of Spinningfields.

"Ideally, we want the retail element all under the control of the same owner, and we feel we are the best people to asset-manage it."

The Morley deal came about following Matrix Securities' failure to conclude a £200 million purchase of 3 Hardman Square and 2 Hardman Street, also part of Spinningfields, earlier this year.

Allied subsequently invited bids for a combination of the three buildings it had available. The developer is now seeking a purchaser for 2 Hardman Street, which is let to Guardian Media Group and Deloitte.

King Sturge represented Morley and Dunlop Haywards and Jones Lang LaSalle acted for Allied London; Stephen Lewis & Partners.


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Drivers Jonas unveils Chelsea Barracks to the market

Defence Estates this week announced the marketing launch of Chelsea Barracks, a 5.2 hectare (12.8 acre) site on the Belgravia/Chelsea border, London SW1. The Barracks is the most significant land sale opportunity to come to the UK market in more than a decade, presenting the chance for a purchaser to create a new community on a previously inaccessible triangle of land between Chelsea Bridge Road, Ebury Bridge Road and Pimlico Road. The site is located only a short walk from Sloane Square, King's Road and the River Thames, and overlooks Ranelagh Gardens and the Royal Hospital, Chelsea which lie immediately to the south-west.

The site is to be sold as a freehold, and will be available with vacant possession following the relocation of the Public Duties and State Ceremonial Guard to new accommodation in Woolwich in March 2008.

At 12.8 acres, the Barracks site would be large enough to accommodate Belgrave Square (10 acres), Stamford Bridge (home of Chelsea Football Club) (12 acres) or Lincoln's Inn (11 acres). Because the site can be comprehensively redeveloped, the successful purchaser will have the opportunity to explore a range of development options, subject to town planning considerations. The site is located in the City of Westminster, on the boundary with The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and abuts two conservation areas.

Planning support for comprehensive redevelopment has been signalled by both the City of Westminster and the Mayor of London, with residential use likely to be preferred. A planning brief for the site was considered by the City of Westminster planning committee this week, endorsing capacity studies prepared by Defence Estates which show in excess of 1,500 new dwellings being developed. Affordable housing, in line with Westminster's UDP policies, will be required to be developed on site, together with other community benefits.

The marketing and disposal process will be handled by Drivers Jonas, who are
inviting parties to register their interest in purchasing the site by 16 November. A marketing brochure will be sent to pre-registered and other selected parties this week. Copies of the brochure, together with instructions on how to register interest are available to download from a dedicated website

Jon Milward, Head of Drivers Jonas Development team, and partner leading the disposal said: "The Barracks site has already received a lot of attention, but we expect our marketing campaign to attract a lot more interest both in the UK and, particularly, from abroad. The intention of our initial marketing exercise is to identify a shortlist of well funded, credible prospective purchasers, who will then be invited to submit financial offers.

The key determinant for shortlisting will be the purchaser's ability to fund the unconditional purchase, as well as delivering the ongoing development. This is likely to substantially narrow the field and highlights the exclusive nature of the opportunity."

Following a decision on the shortlist, second stage bidding will take the form of a competitive tender with the successful party likely to be identified early in 2007.


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Invista Real Estate concludes £8m deal on Kirkton Campus

GVA Grimley and JA Pollock, acting on behalf of Invista Real Estate, have concluded a £8.36 million deal to sell several multi-let properties at Kirkton Campus, Livingston, to Granite Edge Ltd.

The property was originally bought by Invista, formerly known as Insight Investment and one of the largest real estate fund management groups in the UK, in 2003 as part of the £140m Mackenzie portfolio.

The sale to Granite Edge, which concluded this week, includes 2-3 Michaelson Square, 1-4 Bain Square, Fleming House and two development sites extending to over two and a half acres. The property was worth over £440,000 to Invista in rental income per annum, and has been sold to allow the company to concentrate on alternative opportunities.

Commenting on the deal, Ewen White, agency associate at GVA Grimley, said: ?Kirkton Campus is one of the most high profile business and technology parks in Scotland, so a number of parties came forward to express interest when these properties went on the market. We are pleased to have now concluded a deal with Granite Edge and are sure Kirkton Campus will prove to be a sound investment for them.?

Granite Edge was represented in the sale by DM Hall.


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Monday, October 16, 2023

SJ Berwin LLP advises British Land on its £1bn debenture restructuring

SJ Berwin LLP was one of the firms which advised The British Land Company on the real estate aspects of a market leading, multi-tranche £1bn restructuring of its debentures. The restructuring creates the largest individual UK debenture security pool valued at £1.8bn, and given the overall enlarged size, is expected to improve the liquidity of the debentures, improve common covenants and enhance transparency.

Shareholders will benefit from re-couponing to give a lower average interest cost on the new debentures and British Land will enjoy increased dividend cover and distribution flexibility. The property company also benefits from the creation of a simplified, uniform secured debt structure for the non-securitised part of the group.

SJ Berwin was involved in 11 of the new properties coming into the debenture. The SJ Berwin team was led by real estate partner Lewis Myers with partner Helen Willett, assisted by associate Robert Kilgour.

The British Land Company plc is a long established client of SJ Berwin.


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New promotion for Scottish Managing Partner at Knight Frank

Andrew Oswald, the current Managing Partner of Knight Frank in Scotland, has been appointed to Proprietary Partner, after serving the company as Partner for thirteen years and as Managing Partner of the Scottish practice for the last seven years.

Andrew has a wealth of experience dealing with valuations of all types of property for banks, pension funds, property companies and private investors throughout Scotland, as well as carrying out large city centre office rent reviews, rating and valuations for clients such as Royal Bank of Scotland, Clydesdale Bank and HBOS. He has become more involved in Expert Witness work at Court and Land Tribunals, providing valuations and advice on land and property.

He said: "I am delighted to be promoted to Proprietary Partner. I believe I have helped to develop the Firm in Scotland in the 13 years at Knight Frank, particularly over the past three years during which our Scotland operation's turnover has more than quadrupled. I will continue to work alongside the other partners to ensure that we provide a quality service in the commercial property market."

Andrew is a member of the RICS Panel of Arbiters and Independent Experts for dispute resolution, and an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Arbitration. Andrew's promotion to Proprietary Partner will take effect from the 1 May 2007.

In addition, Knight Frank has promoted John Rae, who works in the Scottish investment arm, to Partner - making him the youngest partner in Knight Frank's entire UK outfit at the age of 27.

John has been instrumental in bringing together some impressive commercial property deals for a number of public and private clients in the two years that he has been at Knight Frank. This year, John acquired The Sentinel Building in Glasgow's central business district on behalf of Oppenheim Property Fund Management for £38.5 million - one of the largest commercial property deals in Scotland.

Gareth MacDonald, a surveyor in Knight Frank's Property Asset Management department in Glasgow, has also been promoted to Associate.

Gareth has been at Knight Frank for five years during which he has carried out some outstanding work managing commercial investments in Scotland, as well as Portfolio Management for Blue Chip companies. He has managed a range of property types including multi-let offices, retail parks, industrial estates and shopping centres.

Current properties under his management include Saltire Court and Erskine House in Edinburgh and George House in Glasgow.

Both John and Gareth's promotions will take effect form 1 November 2006.


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Royal London purchase retail warehouse in Leeds for £6.53m

Royal London Asset Management (on behalf of RBS) has bought the Halfords and Burger King on York Road, Leeds from KBC Asset Management for £6.535m representing an initial yield of 4.67%.

The 20,000 ft² property includes an open A1 (non-food) retail warehouse let to Halfords and a Burger King drive-thru restaurant.

The retail warehouse is subject to open market reviews on a low passing rent of £11.74 per ft² whilst the restaurant has guaranteed minimum uplifts equating to 5% per annum compound.

King Sturge acted on behalf of Royal London Asset Management. Edgerley Simpson Howe & Partners represented the vendor.


The new Property Executive business directory is now online. To add a free listing for your company or to search for property companies across the UK click here.

September sees rebound in commercial property activity

The Savills Commercial Development PMI® signalled a robust expansion of total development activity in September, with the rate of growth rising from August's low.

Commercial construction companies indicated a marked expansion of both private and public sector activity. The latest increase in work on public sector projects was the sharpest for six months, but remained down on that recorded for private sector activity.

Higher levels of activity were recorded in all nine areas of commercial development monitored by the survey in September. The strongest upward growth trend was for private sector new build activity, with firms indicating that the rate of expansion was the sharpest for six months.

Commenting on the survey, Mat Oakley, head of Savills' Commercial Research department said: "As expected the general slowdown in the rate of growth in August appears to have been a seasonal blip. With private sector office construction having increased for the thirty-seventh consecutive month, it is no surprise that developers' optimism about the prospects for this sector cooled a little this month."

Key findings for September 2006:

-The Total Commercial Activity Index posted 59.3 in September, up from 56.3 in the previous month, to signal a sharp expansion of commercial development activity. The rate of growth increased from August's low and was above the survey's long-run average, with one-quarter of the survey panel indicating a rise in activity in September.

-Growth of public sector activity was the sharpest for six months in September, with more than three times as many panel members (16%) reporting a rise in public sector development, compared to those that signalled a fall (5%).

-September data indicated that private sector activity increased for a ninth consecutive month. The rate of expansion was above the survey's long-run average and more marked than for public sector development activity.

-Commercial construction growth was broad-based across all nine areas of activity monitored in September. Private sector new build activity was the best-performing category, with the rate of expansion rising to a six-month high.

-Growth of industrial/warehouse activity accelerated in September and was well above August's fourteen-month low. Latest data indicated robust expansions of office fit-out activity and work on private sector office projects. Following a marginal decline in August, panel members indicated a solid rise in public sector retail & leisure activity.

-Regional data indicated that growth of commercial development activity was broad-based across the three geographical areas monitored by the survey. Commercial construction firms signalled that expansion of activity was sharpest in London, with one-in-three panellists reporting higher levels of overall activity in the latest survey period.

-Despite easing since the previous month, expectations of commercial development growth were buoyant across all three areas of activity monitored by the survey in September. The strongest degree of positive sentiment was for retail & leisure activity in three months' time.


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LSH Glasgow adds to its agency team

Lambert Smith Hampton's Glasgow office has appointed Aasia Mohammad as Associate Director within its Business Space Agency department.

The 26 year-old will work closely with director Andy Cunningham on city centre and business park office instructions for developers, investors, landlords and occupiers.

Aasia, who graduated from Paisley University in 2001, has over five years experience in the office and industrial markets. She joins LSH after a three year-period with Knight Frank, where she developed a strong client portfolio that includes Tritax, AWG, Catalyst Capital and Elandome. Aasia will be working with a range of clients at LSH, such as Wilson Bowden Developments, MEPC, HF Developments, Land Securities Trillium, and Arlington Property Investors.

Andy Cunningham, director of the business space agency said: "We have constantly developed our team since we joined LSH and I'm delighted that Aasia has decided to join the company. I am sure that with her experience and knowledge she will be a great asset to the team."

Aasia, who is also a committee member for the Glasgow Office Agents Society, added: "This is a great opportunity for me to join a company as well respected as Lambert Smith Hampton during such a crucial stage in the commercial property market and I'm delighted to be involved in some of the great instructions that they have at the moment. I look forward to consolidating existing relationships I have in the industry, and building new ones as an LSH employee."


The new Property Executive business directory is now online. To add a free listing for your company or to search for property companies across the UK click here.

Monday, October 09, 2023

Ryden rebrands for the Future

Ryden, one of the best known names in property, is launching a new brand identity today. The firm has stepped up its look to reflect the more modern practice it has become. The move follows a review by the firm of its position in the market and a subsequent objective setting exercise within the partnership.

Ryden undertook research with employees and clients to find out more about their perceptions of Ryden and what the firm stood for. The firm wanted to be sure of its strengths and to identify improvements it could act on. Research results showed the main strengths to be the Ryden name, the professionalism and approachability of Ryden people and the expert local knowledge held by the firm.

It also showed some views of Ryden were based on an historic knowledge of the firm. The partnership felt the brand needed upgraded to reflect the investment in new talent and the firm's proactive and creative approach.

The review has helped the firm reaffirm key strengths and refine its brand values that form the basis of day-to-day operation; to be friendly, modern, trusted and ambitious. The main objective of the update was to create a brand message that reflects the values of the firm and the consistency of service clients can expect from Ryden. It is a bold and contemporary look with a focus on clear communication. This investment in brand identity by an independent property firm reflects its ambitions for growth in the future.

Managing partner Fiona Morton said: "Our new brand is part of the continuing development of Ryden. The aim is to be clear about the way we do business. I am very proud of the heritage of Ryden and the values of firm stands for but also want to show our more contemporary and dynamic side and the creative approach we take to securing value for our clients. Ryden people are our main asset and I want to ensure they feel proud to work for a firm that is investing in its future. We also want clients to take a fresh look at the results Ryden can deliver for them and all the areas of property we operate in now."


The new Property Executive business directory is now online. To add a free listing for your company or to search for property companies across the UK click here.

Atisreal acquires retail specialist Parish Dean Partnership

Atisreal has announced its acquisition of niche retail consultancy, Parish Dean Partnership, as part of its continued expansion drive. This acquisition will strengthen Atisreal's presence in the retail market and add to its existing portfolio of services. Parish Dean is a niche retail consultancy founded in 1999 by Ian Parish and Jonathan Dean.

The firm has been instructed on substantial acquisition and disposal programmes for MFI, Matalan and Somerfield, in addition to advising a wide range of independent retailers and private clients. Parish Dean also acts for a number of developers, advising on both out-of-town schemes and town centre mixed-use projects.This move combines the depth of resources of a large international player with the in-depth market knowledge of a specialist niche player.

Head of Atisreal's retail team, Mark Wills-Williams, said: "This will add strength and depth to our retail capability and our excellent client base. We are a growing player in both the UK and international retail markets using our teams in continental Europe where we are the leading commercial real estate consultants."

Tim Malthouse, executive director at Atisreal, comments: "This acquisition supports the continued growth of our retail offering. Ian and Jonathan's business offers an excellent fit with our existing retail team and will provide additional expertise and opportunities to our clients."

Jonathan Dean adds: "The opportunity to integrate with a truly global property consultancy was simply too good to ignore. This move significantly enhances our capabilities, allowing us to provide an extra level of service to our clients."

All staff at Parish Dean's Savile Row office will shortly be relocated to Atisreal's St James's Square office. The newly enhanced retail team will be led by Mark Wills-Williams, head of retail at Atisreal.


The new Property Executive business directory is now online. To add a free listing for your company or to search for property companies across the UK click here.

Rok announces major Scottish acquisition for £31.3m

Rok has agreed to acquire Tulloch Construction, a privately owned and long established building and related services group with a strong brand and reputation in Scotland.

The £31.3m acquisition is in line with Rok's strategy of becoming known as the Nation's Local Builder with plans to have a presence in most of the UK's major towns and cities through a combination of organic growth and acquisition. Completion of the acquisition is expected early next week when David Sutherland CBE, Chairman of Tulloch Construction, will join the Rok Board as a non executive director.

Some 875 people in Tulloch Construction's offices in Inverness, Thurso, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Tain, Elgin, Oban, Nairn and Fort William will transfer to Rok. George Fraser, head of Tulloch Construction, will become Rok's Managing Director in Scotland.

Rok has been active in Central Scotland for some years from a successful base in Glasgow but will gain considerable strength from acquiring Tulloch Construction which had a turnover of £107m and a normalised operating profit of £4.2m in the year ended 31 December 2005.

Rok Chief Executive Garvis Snook said today: "Tulloch Construction, with its strong presence in Scotland, is exactly the type of respected, community-minded builder that fits the Rok model. We're delighted to welcome Tulloch to the Rok family and in particular David Sutherland, with his wealth of experience and relationships in Scotland."

David Sutherland said: "This is good news for the employees and customers of Tulloch Construction. Rok is an excellent fit for us and we see potential for exciting growth ahead. Linking of the Rok name with Tulloch will send positive signals to our customers and I look forward to working with Rok to achieve the significant benefits that should follow from combining these businesses."

The parent company, Tulloch Ltd, is not included in the deal but will be taking a significant shareholding in Rok plc. The deal will see Tulloch's construction, civil engineering and building services divisions, which are part of Tulloch Construction, transfer to Rok.

Tulloch Ltd, in which David Sutherland's family has the controlling interest, will retain ownership of Tulloch Homes, which has 170 employees and a £60m turnover, plus a series of joint venture property development and housing companies. Tulloch Ltd will continue to have its HQ in Inverness.


The new Property Executive business directory is now online. To add a free listing for your company or to search for property companies across the UK click here.

INVESCO UK Property Income Trust acquires Preston warehouse for £7.2m

INVESCO UK Property Income Trust has completed the acquisition of a freehold industrial warehouse investment property located in Fulwood, Preston for £7.2m, reflecting a net initial yield of 7.2%.

The property is let for 25 years at a rent of £550,000 p.a., with 5 yearly rent increases linked to the higher of open market value, or RPI.


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Knight Real Estate appointment consolidates in Scotland's Central Belt

Leading commercial property developer Knight Real Estate has appointed a development director as part of its growth strategy across Scotland.

Niall Carlton joins the Aberdeen-based company with a specific remit to develop its activity in the Central Belt, aiming to build on the successful completion of its first development in this key market.

Alongside Central Belt project manager Steve Williams, Niall will lead a drive by Knight to identify new development opportunities via land or building purchase and oversee the lettings of completed developments.

Knight has grown in recent months to become a 10-strong team based in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Warsaw.

Knight Real Estate Director Howard Crawshaw said: "Niall's appointment is a key step forward for us in terms of consolidating our presence in the Central Belt and becoming established as a significant player nationally.

"Knight has evolved from a business focused largely on speculative development to one also involved in a succession of client-specific projects. Flexibility is a central element of our growth strategy and we look forward to growing our portfolio on a national basis."

Its flagship Central Belt development, the £7million Chameleon Business Park in Livingston, was completed earlier this year. Much of the three-phase project has already been let with high interest in the remaining units in the speculative, 47,000sq ft development.

Niall (41) joins Knight following a successful period working for an English-based commercial property company having previously had several office and industrial agency roles based in Scotland. Niall said: "I am very much looking forward to my new role within the company and carrying on the success that Knight has already achieved."


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EDI Group delivers Capital benefits

Edinburgh-based property development company, The EDI Group, recorded a pre-tax profit of £1.31 million last year on a turnover of £9.5 million with a 15.6% rise in net asset value to £44 million.

Commenting on the figures, EDI Group Chair Ian Perry said: "Our performance is an improvement on last year's figures which is satisfying in a market where commercial activity in the office and industrial sectors particularly, remains low."

Ian Perry highlighted EDI's use of land, which remains a particular strength. He said: "We have been very successful at generating significant value for our shareholder, the City of Edinburgh Council, for example obtaining planning permission for a development of half a million square feet for Morrison Street that created enormous value for this gateway site."

Commenting on EDI's portfolio which has seen its net asset value grown significantly to £44 million, Ian Perry said:

"We have a strong and deep portfolio and will continue to develop this portfolio in the years ahead. Our estate continues to perform well in terms of occupation, levels, rental, security and capital growth."

The company's strong asset base and encouraging profit figures are allowing it to pursue a programme of development while accommodating a request from its shareholder, The City of Edinburgh Council, for an additional dividend to meet the Council's equal pay obligations.

Through its Triple Bottom Line report, the company also demonstrates how commercial success can be achieved while delivering wider benefits.

"The success of our company is not just stated in financial terms. We also consider other concepts of value", said Ian Perry. "Our commitment to achieving social, environmental and economic objectives remains as focused as ever. This applies to our own schemes and those where we work in partnership with other organisations," he added.

The report highlights EDI's work on both city centre and suburban projects, primarily in the Lothians but also in North Ayrshire. In Kilwinning, EDI successfully completed a 1900 sq m office building through a joint venture with North Ayrshire Council: this is now let to the Accountant in Bankruptcy service on a 20-year lease.

Although the office market remained generally flat - particularly in the west of Edinburgh where EDI has a number of office developments - it is considered that the market is picking up and a detailed planning application for a new building at Edinburgh Park has been submitted recently.

EDI's projects over the last financial year 2005-06 have ranged from major office developments to small-scale social housing projects. They included:

A mixed use scheme of affordable housing and offices in Edinburgh's Cowgate in partnership with Castle Rock Housing Association which completes the last piece in the jigsaw of the award-winning regeneration of The Tron area.

The completion of the Greyfriars and Traverse schemes, through BUREDI, the joint venture with The Burrell Company. All 36 units were sold ahead of schedule.

The construction of 65,000 sq ft factory for McCrae fish processors at Starlaw together with its joint venture partners J Smart and Co.

Looking to the future, EDI has a number of projects that are already on site or due to go on site within the next few months. These include:

Coalhill 2 in Leith, being delivered through BUREDI where a second phase of 39 units including four affordable housing units, is now on site

BUREDI's flagship project at Fountainbridge, involving the creation of a new street, a new bridge over the Union Canal, 180 residential units and 2800 sq m of commercial office space

In Craigmillar, EDI's joint venture with the Council represents the biggest and most far reaching project the company has ever undertaken. The 15-year scheme will create 2,200 homes, four new schools, shops, sports facilities, a new library and parks. Work on the 4-hectare Wauchope Square residential scheme and two new primary schools is due to start later this year.

The Triple Bottom Line report includes an independent assessment of 47 EDI projects, either completed or in development, against nine key performance grouped into three categories: Natural and Manufactured Capital; Human and Social Capital and Financial capital.

Last year's report highlighted resource use and waste minimization as areas where EDI could improve. This year's assessment shows EDI achieved its targets for both areas.

Looking ahead, EDI plans that its supply chain also recognizes the targets and aims of the Triple Bottom Line. To that end, during the last year its design guidelines have helped to influence suppliers, particularly on the Craigmillar project through its joint venture, PARC. For example, PARC has produced a sustainability protocol for the redevelopment of Craigmillar and has recently secured the support of the local authority to incorporate permeable paving into the public realm and new streets, the first time it has been used on a development of this scale.

EDI plans to develop its procurement policy to encourage change throughout the supply chain, targeting four areas during 2006: Sustainable Procurement Policy; Contractor Recruitment/training schemes; Quality Management Systems and Scottish Health at Work.


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Wednesday, October 04, 2023

Record visitor taffic to Property Executive's website

September was a record month for Property Executive's website. Over 7,200 people visited the site in the month, this compares to about 6,000 in August and 4,500 in July.

The increases numbers have been partially driven by the new business directory on the website which has almost 100 companies listed in it after being launched only a few weeks ago. There is a free listing for commercial property companies and support services based in Scotland and the North of England. Visit the free listing page for more information on adding your company to the business directory.

RW Gregory appointed for Newcastle Hospitals PFI

R W Gregory, Consulting Engineers, have been appointed by Laing O'Rourke as Building Services Engineers on the £300m PFI project that will transform healthcare services in Newcastle upon Tyne. The scheme will move all acute hospital services from the Newcastle General and reprovide them in modern 'state-of-the-art' facilities at the Royal Victoria Infirmary and the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle upon Tyne.

The new accommodation 215,280 ft² briefly comprises of a new Cancer and Renal Services Centre at the Freeman Hospital, together with a multi storey car park. At the RVI, the new buildings 645,840 ft² will provide a Children's Hospital, Neurosciences Centre, Accident and Emergency Services, Trauma Centre, Operating Theatre, Critical Care, Infections Diseases Unit, Dermatology, Outpatients Clinics, Ambulatory Care and Diagnostic and Specialist Support Facilities. In addition, there will also be a Clinical Support Block of 107,640 ft².

The Freeman Hospital scheme is due for completion in 2008. The construction period on the RVI will take until 2013 to finish, although early phases will be handed over from 2009.

Comments Jeff Smith, Partner at R W Gregory: "This project takes the amount of healthcare work currently in design by the firm to circa £900m and has helped to strengthen our position as one of the country's leading providers of consulting engineering expertise in this sector."

Other advisors involved in the project are Anshen Dyer as Architects and WSP as Civil and Structural Engineers.


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DJ Scotland in Edinburgh Park's biggest deal for 20 months

The Edinburgh office of Drivers Jonas in Scotland has been instrumental in the biggest deal at Edinburgh Park for 20 months. Representing Higham Dunnett Shaw plc, a leading provider of specialist outsourcing and consulting solutions to the UK life and pensions industry, the company has completed terms on 3,900 sq ft (362.3sq m) at Lochside House on Edinburgh Park.

This is the largest deal to be completed on Edinburgh Park since Miller Group relocated to 2 Lochside View in 2004.

Sandy Gilmour of Drivers Jonas Scotland, who represented Higham Group in the deal, commented: "We are delighted to announce that Higham Dunnett Shaw has taken occupation of new accommodation at Lochside House at Edinburgh Park. Due to our knowledge and track record of tenant representation work in Edinburgh, we were able to give impartial advice across a wide range of options to meet their strategic needs, resulting in this large acquisition of flexible, cost efficient space. This deal indicates our ability to represent tenants and to provide innovative solutions to occupiers needs."


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DTZ secures new letting in Glasgow's City Centre

DTZ, acting on behalf of capital and income retirement planning company GE Life, has let office space at 18 Blythswood Square to QBE Management (UK) Ltd trading as DA Constable Syndicate Ltd.

DA Constable Syndicate Ltd, an insurance underwriting firm with offices throughout the world, has taken the second floor of the four storey building based at 18 Blythswood Square. This new letting is further indication of the increasing desirability of Blythswood Square as a business location in Glasgow city centre.

The firm has taken on 272.9 sq m (2,938 sq ft) of office space on a lease hold at a rental of £43,000.

DTZ assisted GE Life with the termination of their existing lease from landlord Friends Provident which ran until 2 December 2008. DTZ negotiated with the landlord to successfully achieve a renunciation of GE Life's existing lease on the basis that QBE Management took a new lease from August 2006 for ten years with a break at year five.

Stephen McKenna, surveyor at DTZ commented: "You only have to look at the reduction in the number of letting boards on Blythswood Square over the last 12 months to realise how popular the area has become with businesses. As an office location, the area has reinvented itself with a significant number of smaller professional firms taking space recently. This deal was as an opportunity for GE Life to dispose of their existing lease liability and enable DA Constable Syndicate Ltd to relocate to an area which is becoming highly desirable as a business location".


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Monday, October 02, 2023

Property Executive Awards for Excellence 2006

Property Executive Awards for Excellence 2006 had their third annual Awards dinner at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Glasgow on Thursday the 28th September. With over 550 guests a wonderful evening was enjoyed by all those who attended.

The year's awards were won by:

Office Award for Excellence - sponsor Arup - winner Royal Bank of Scotland Group for RBS Gogarburn

Industrial Award for Excellence - sponsor Thomas and Adamson - winner Eurocentral Parnership for Eurocentral

Retail Award for Excellence - sponsor McClure Naismith - winner Henry Boot Developments for Ayr Central

Residential Award for Excellence - sponsor Investec - winner AMA (New Town) Ltd for St Vincent Place, Edinburgh

Mixed Use Development Award for Excellence - sponsor Land Securities - winner Capital Shopping Centres and Park Lane Developments for Renfrew Riverside

Regeneration Award for Excellence - sponsor EC Harris - winner Elphinstone for City Park

Investment Award for Excellence - sponsor Nationwide - winner Walker Group for 200 Broomilaw, Glasgow

Property Personality Award for Excellence - sponsor Davis Duncan Architects - winner Tony Donnelly of AWG Property

Property Agency Award for Excellence - sponsor Scottish Property Network - winner Montagu Evans

Architectural Practice Award for Excellence - sponsor Ayr Central - winner Cooper Cromar

Legal Practice Award for Excellence - sponsor Space Solutions - winner Bell & Scott


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Halladale acquires Billingham, Cleveland retail parade for £15.25m

Halladale Group has acquired a town centre parade of retail buildings in Billingham, Cleveland, North-East England for £15.25m from LaSalle Investment Management.

This prime town centre parade consists of fifty eight units of differing size split into four blocks of predominantly single level retail accommodation fronting the north and west sections of Billingham's central square and prime pedestrianised thoroughfare. The blocks provide over half of Billingham's retail provision with current tenants including Boots, Woolworths, Superdrug, Iceland and Natwest.

Halladale will seek to work closely with Stockton Borough Council to enhance the local retail environment through the planned refurbishment and redevelopment of Billingham town centre.

The transaction price reflects a net initial yield of 5.9 per cent. Savills and Sanderson Weatherall advised Halladale and Jones Lang LaSalle were advisers to the vendors.

David Lockhart, Chief Executive of Halladale, commented: "Halladale has built up a wealth of experience in working with councils on the redevelopment of town centre retail environments for the benefit of the local community. Billingham is another excellent opportunity for Halladale to apply that experience and we look forward to regenerating Billingham's shopping facilities and attracting new occupiers to the town centre."


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Linklaters advises DB Real Estate on the sale of Barbirolli Square, Manchester

Linklaters' real estate team has advised DB Real Estate on the sale of 100 Barbirolli Square, Manchester to Scottish Widows. The 141,000 sq ft office and retail building sold for £70m and is currently let to Addleshaw Goddard, Ernst & Young and DLA Piper.

Linklaters' team was led by real estate partner, Joe Conder, assisted by associate Reagan Thackwray.

Richard Lampert at Dundas & Wilson advised Scottish Widows.


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Aberdeen successes for Graham + Sibbald

Graham + Sibbald, acting on behalf of Cascades Estates, have advised on the acquisition and disposal of the Quattro Business Park, a modern office and workshop complex in Altens. This has resulted in the early letting of 45,800 sq. ft office accommodation and an imminent announcement on a 20,000 sq.ft workshop.

The development was purpose designed in the early 1990's for Italian oil company, AGIP/ENI and was purchased in the face of hot competition for over the £5 million asking price and rebranded Quattro Business Park by Cascade.

The property immediately attracted considerable interest and Cascade managed to secure an early letting of the 45,000 sq.ft office element to international oil & gas contractor AMEC.

In addition to letting all the offices, the warehouse extending to 19,000 sq.ft is under offer to another international oil & gas service company and this letting will complete the disposal of Quattro Business Park, within a few months of coming onto the market.

"The Quattro Business Park is an ideal product and perfectly meets the requirements of the current occupier's demand. Cascade is to be congratulated on their confidence in the local property market and the future of Aberdeen as a successful property investment location," said Simpson Buglass, Partner in Graham + Sibbald Aberdeen office.

"Aberdeen is experiencing very high levels of occupier demand at present, last equalled in the early 1980's, with most types of property benefiting from this increased activity. Undoubtedly fuelled by a buoyant oil & gas sector riding high on $70 oil, third world consumption growth and political instability in some of the oil producing regions, this prosperity is set to continue for some time." Mr Buglass commented.

"The offices were let in a very short space of time, the workshop building is under offer and a missive has already been concluded for an investment sale. This has been a very successful venture," he added.

James Barrack of Knight Real Estate, who purchased the site as part of the Cascades joint venture said: "We were delighted to acquire this development and to secure the AMEC lease. They have undoubtedly acquired one of the most accessible office developments in the city and will enjoy excellent quality accommodation at Quattro Business Park.

"The size and speed of the letting illustrates the current level of demand for quality office accommodation, as well as the strength of the market. A further announcement will follow shortly on the letting of the workshop. This deal underlines the success of Knight Real Estate and our commitment to further development and investment in Aberdeen."

Graham + Sibbald acted jointly with F.G. Burnett in respect of this instruction. Cascade Estates is a joint venture between Knight Real Estate, Aberdeen and LTL Property Investments, Glasgow.

Graham + Sibbald, acting for The Glenvarigill Company Ltd, have already sold two modern showroom buildings to Knight Real Estate in July, further underlining the popularity of Altens as one of Aberdeen's principal business locations.

Knight has retained Graham + Sibbald to remarket these buildings and is planning to comprehensively refurbish one building to provide 10,000 sq.ft office accommodation, which will be available later this year and replace the other with an exciting two storey office pavilion extending to 19,000 sq.ft. This property will be available in June 2007 and considerable interest is already being shown in both buildings.


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