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, May 31, 2023

Seletar Shipping announce new Aberdeen development

Seletar Shipping which own a significant quayside property portfolio, has recently announced plans for an ambitious new 46,500 sq ft office development on the site of the existing Horizons House at Waterloo Quay, Aberdeen.

International property consultancy, Knight Frank, has been awarded the contract to design, project manage and market the proposed new office building to be known as New Horizons House, which subject to planning, will be available for occupation by the end of 2008.

The development comprises around 46,500 sq ft of Grade A office space with integral car parking over six levels. The new open plan office accommodation is available for lease in individual floor plates ranging from 7,500 sq ft to 14,000 sq ft or in combinations of up to a maximum of 46,500 sq ft. The 4th floor and ground floor space is already "under offer" and significant interest has already been expressed in the remainder, despite the lack of a formal marketing campaign.

Seletar Shipping is keen to ensure that the building is environmentally conscious and will incorporate energy efficient design to minimise the building's carbon footprint and recycling facilities for each floor. Additional features will include full curtain walling at 3rd & 4th floor levels incorporating a roof terrace to both floors, and a full height central atrium featuring a bespoke Helical staircase and water feature. There will also be a catering concession on the 2nd floor overlooking the entrance foyer.

The building will also be fully DDA compliant. Two levels of integral car park offer a generous car parking ratio of one space for every 350 sq ft.

New Horizons House is close to a range of amenities, including the bus and train station and the new Union Square Retail/Leisure Development, the Boulevard Retail Park and the Beach Leisure Centre. Seletar also provide a courtesy bus service which operates between the Waterloo Quay development and the city centre, for use of the occupiers of the development.

Katherine Monro, Agency Partner at Knight Frank said, "This is an exciting development that will add to the ongoing regeneration of Aberdeen Harbour as well as create much needed quality office space in the City. Strong interest has already been expressed by companies involved in the Marine Industry and also by the professional sector looking to relocate from the more traditional West End where there is a current dearth of quality product."

Shaun Eardley, managing director of Seletar Shipping (Scotland) Limited, said: "We are delighted to have announced this new development, which will be the result of an £11 million investment by Seletar.

"We have redeveloped a significant proportion of the office buildings on Waterloo Quay since first branching into quayside property rental in 2003, and are pleased to be able to further enhance the area with this latest project. We look forward to continuing to contribute to the harbour area's current regeneration."

Cheque Centres takesspace at the Forum, Edinburgh

Following a re-gearing of its lease by Donaldsons and Montagu Evans, Cheque Centres has taken 15,000 sq ft of office space at the Forum in Sighthill, Edinburgh.

Owned by Kenmore Capital Forum Limited, Cheque Centres now occupy the ground and first floors of this recently refurbished office development at a competitive rate per sq ft on a 10 year FRI lease with a break at year five.

Nadir Khan-Juhoor, associate with Donaldsons in Edinburgh, explained: "This property provides excellent value for money and is only minutes away from South Gyle as well as being close to Edinburgh Airport. Cheque Centres locating its HQ office to the Forum clearly shows the need by businesses for open plan office accommodation at an affordable rental ? which the Forum offers. Only 14,500 sq ft remains available, which we expect to let over the next few months as strong interest continues."

Donaldsons and Montagu Evans acted on behalf of Kenmore Capital Forum Limited and Cheque Centres was represented by Culverwell.

BDO Stoy Hayward is first tenant in 4 Atlantic Quay

Leading accountants and business advisors BDO Stoy Hayward have become the first tenant in the flagship development at Wilson Bowden's office development at 4 Atlantic Quay Glasgow in a deal that will see the firm move into over 17,000 sq ft of the building, occupying two floors in Autumn 2007.

Located on York Street in the heart of the city's Financial Services District, the building is being developed speculatively and comprises 73,874 sq ft of modern column free office space.

Jim Fitzsimons, Director, Wilson Bowden commented: "We are delighted to welcome a company of the stature of BDO Stoy Hayward as the first tenant to our latest development at Atlantic Quay. This vindicates our continued investment in the scheme and is exactly the type of occupier we have been targeting to ensure its success."

BDO Stoy Hayward LLP is the award winning UK member firm of BDO International, the world's fifth largest accountancy network. Neil Craig, lead partner at BDO Stoy Hayward in Glasgow, said: "It's an exciting time for our Scottish office. Our move into the only Grade A office space to be completed this year in Glasgow is a major investment and shows our commitment to continued growth in Scotland.

"Our two floors in Atlantic Quay will house 200 people comfortably and is a flagship development which is reflective of our standing in the local business community.

"The new office will provide a first-class working environment for our talented team of 150 people - making us a key player and a continued challenger to other leading firms in the city."

David Smith, Head of Office, Lambert Smith Hampton in Glasgow, added, "4 Atlantic Quay offers extremely high quality modern office space and is the only new available office development in the city centre that will complete in 2007. We are very confident of securing further occupiers for the remaining 56,716 sq ft of space particularly with Wilson Bowden's flexible approach of considering lettings on a floor-by-floor basis."

Julie Mitchell, Head of Agency at Drivers Jonas in Glasgow, who act for BDO Stoy Hayward said: "We are delighted to have worked with BDO Stoy Hayward in securing new office premises in this unique property. The letting came at a time when the market has moved due to a lack of Grade A space within the city and fierce competition amongst occupiers. The facility offers everything that BDO Stoy Hayward needs in terms of flexibility of office accommodation and is a welcome addition to Glasgow's booming International Financial Services District."

134-136 High Street, Ayr

Acting on behalf of PRUPIM's M&G; Property Portfolio, Culverwell has recently sold 134 - 136 High Street, Ayr at a price of £2,390,000.

The subject property extending to 1,538 sq ft is let to Monsoon Accessorize Limited at a rent of £123,650 per annum (£80.39/sq ft Zone A).

The sale price of £2,390,000 reflects a net initial yield of 4.89%

Centros Miller submits plans to revitalise Lancaster City Centre

Urban regeneration specialists Centros Miller has submitted outline plans for the re-development of the Canal Corridor North site, a 10 acre retail-led mixed-used scheme in Lancaster.

Following extensive pre-application consultation, a hybrid outline application has been submitted to Lancaster City Council together with a number of associated listed building, conservation area applications. The scheme will be anchored by a new 105,000 sq ft Debenhams department store as part of 300,000 sq ft of new shopping. The fully pedestrianised development will provide physical enhancements to the existing cultural facilities on site, in particular the Dukes and Grand theatres and the unique Musicians' Co-operative.

The proposed development will also enhance the amenity value offered by the Lancaster Canal by widening its towpath, adding moorings for narrow boats and providing adjacent cafés and restaurants. The site will extend the city centre's prime shopping from Penny Street through St Nicholas Arcades shopping centre via a broad new footbridge leading to the new Debenhams store and the canal side.

The development will also benefit from an 800-space short-stay car park and provide 150 new townhouses and apartments (with private parking), offices and small workshops for local businesses. Road improvement works will be undertaken as part of the development in order to improve traffic flows. Completion of the development is targeted for 2011.

Associate Director of Centros Miller, David Lewis, comments: "The aim of this vibrant new development is to re-establish the city centre as an exciting shopping destination for residents of northern Lancashire and southern Cumbria, bring new life and boost the local economy. The scheme will provide a place to shop, live, eat and be entertained, in a safe, attractive environment".

HelioSlough and CBRE secure UK's largest speculative shed letting

HelioSlough and CBRE Strategic Partners have completed the UK's largest speculative shed letting at their Nimbus Park development in Thorne, near Doncaster, South Yorkshire.

MFI, in conjunction with DHL/Exel Supply Chain, has taken the 750,000 sq ft (69,675 sq m) distribution facility on a new 10-year lease. The annual rent is £3.075m.

The building was completed in December 2006 and there is scope for a further 230,000 sq ft (21,367 sq m) of distribution space at the site.

Rob Trevor, development director of HelioSlough, comments: "This letting is a ringing endorsement of the strength of the M18 / South Yorkshire market and of Doncaster as centre for large-scale distribution.

"To agree the deal so soon after practical completion is very satisfying, and the volume of interest from potential occupiers throughout the build programme vindicates HelioSlough's decision to build big in this established location."

Giles King, managing director of CBRE Strategic Partners, says: "On top of the excellent location and infrastructure, the swiftness of this letting reflects the latent demand for distribution facilities in the area, particularly ones of the quality of Nimbus Park."

Chris Pavlovski. Chief Operating Officer of MFI, comments: "MFI carefully selected Nimbus Park after an exhaustive search and it is a first class location for us to serve our growing network. We were impressed by the size and quality of the building, infrastructure, landscaping and environment, as well as the strategic location of the site."

HelioSlough and CBRE Strategic Partners were advised by M3, King Sturge and Atlas Consultants, while MFI was represented by Haslams and Ridgemoor in the transaction.

45 - 57 High Street, Leven

Acting on behalf of Kilmartin Property, Culverwell has recently advised on the sale of 45 - 57 High Street, Leven.

The units are let to: WH Smith, Boots, Shoefayre, SM Bayne, Greggs and Triage Central at a total passing rent of £211,600 per annum with the premises extending to a total approximate area of 19,874 sq ft.

The sale price of £3,550,000 represents a net initial yield of 5.64%.

Tuesday, May 29, 2023

Culverwell retained by Specsavers for Scottish acquisitions

Culverwell is delighted to announce that its Retail Agency team has been retained by Specsavers on all property acquisitions in Scotland.

Specsavers has recently unveiled plans for a UK-wide expansion which will include a large increase in its Scottish operations.

The Group, which has 830 stores in the UK and Europe, will open 40-50 optical stores and 100 hearing centres across the UK this year, with Specsavers setting a challenging target for new stores in Scotland over the next three years.

Brixton sells Attercliffe Common Industrial Estate, Sheffield

Brixton has sold at auction the Attercliffe Common Industrial Estate, Sheffield.

A conditional contract had been exchanged last October with Sun International Casinos but following the determination of the location of a regional casino for the UK this contract fell away with Brixton receiving a non-refundable premium of £75,000.

The sale price at auction of £1.755m is below the December valuation 2006 figure of £1.94m but compares very favourably with the apportioned price as part of the Industrious corporate purchase in January 2005 at a figure approaching £1.4m, giving a 26% capital enhancement in just over 2 years.

The estate comprises 12 units totalling 19,200 sq ft with a current income of £123,000 per annum. The auctioneers were Jones Lang LaSalle and the purchaser is an Irish investor.

M3 announce major push into Northern logistics market

M3, the niche industrial agency, is to make a major push into the northern logistics market with the launch of a Sheffield office. At the same time, the firm has announced an expansion of its Birmingham team.

Roger Howarth, previously a director at Atisreal, has been recruited to run a new Sheffield office alongside Toby Vernon, who arrives from Knight Frank where he was also a director. Both have been appointed equity Partners. The new office will serve key markets in Yorkshire, Teeside the North West and the North East Midlands.

As well as the new Sheffield office, M3 has strengthened its Birmingham team with the appointment of Nick Waddington, also as an equity partner. Nick was previously at Knight Frank, where he was head of industrial at their Birmingham office, and joins Josephine Baker who has been recruited from GVA Grimley.

The new appointments and expansion into Sheffield follow M3's recent work advising on, amongst other significant transactions, Macquarie Goodman's acquisition of Rosemound and Rockpoint's purchase of Gladman's development portfolio. As a result, partner Steve Moriarty is to take on a more strategic role advising Fund and Developer clients alongside Richard Moffitt and Simon Milner.

Steve Moriarty, comments: "These new appointments and opening a Sheffield office will enable us to enhance our service to clients in the distribution and logistics sector.

"There is increasing demand from occupiers as they look to take advantage of the region's readily available distribution space and lower labour costs."

In addition to the appointments, Oliver Buckland is moving from the investment team back into the agency team at M3's London office.

Three new stores for Baguette Express in Scotland

Acting on behalf of Baguette Express (Scotland) Ltd, Culverwell has acquired 3 new stores currently operating in Kirkcaldy, Elgin and Coatbridge, as well as going under offer on a further 6 acquisitions in Scotland.

Baguette Express is a Scottish based sandwich bar retailer that has been operational since 1999 and currently trade from 10 Scottish units including Lothian Road / Gorgie, Edinburgh, Dalkeith, Musselburgh, Hawick, Tranent, Haddington, North Berwick, Galashiels and Bathgate.

The company is a franchise driven business and they are actively seeking to expand the business with a further 30 stores in Scotland over the course of the next 12 - 18 months.

McKeating Ltd presented with IiP Award

Glasgow-based building contractor and project manager McKeating Ltd has been awarded a prestigious Investors in People Award in recognition of its commitment to its staff and facilitating continuous improvement.

The official presentation of the award to the firm's managing director, Liam McKeating, by the Scottish Building Federation's Chief Executive Michael Levack, took place on 25 May 2023 at the Federation's headquarters at Stenhousemuir.

Liam McKeating, said: "I am extremely pleased that we have been recognised by this award as a company that recognises the importance of investing in people. This award has been achieved by the dedication and hard work of all staff and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their efforts. We fully intend to build upon the substantial progress already made; accepting that this vital area demands continued commitment."

The Investors in People Standard has long been acknowledged as a business improvement tool, helping organisations of every size, type and location to gain more from their people in support of business goals. The four key principles of Investors in People are communication, planning, action and evaluation.

Formed in 1993 and headed by a Chartered Quantity Surveyor and experienced Project Manager, McKeating Ltd is a private company that is gaining a fine reputation in all market sectors for delivering projects on time and within budget. Its team of fully qualified, reliable tradesmen is committed to providing the utmost care and level of service every hour they are engaged in a project, keeping a client?s needs uppermost at all times.

McKeating's commitment to clients is unstinting, and the reason it has secured this award. "We take great care to understand what clients want and then we build them their vision," said Liam McKeating.

A valuable team spirit exists as McKeating's joiners, plasterers and ground workers are all employed directly by the company, with some of them having been with the firm for over ten years - and now their sons are joining the team. Staff are fully qualified in their trades and, in the case of the younger members of the team, go through a ConstructionSkills (formerly CITB) apprenticeship. All of the firm's staff have a CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) registration card showing all individual qualifications, including those for Health and Safety.

McKeating is Construction Licensing Executive (CLE) accredited and a member of the Scottish Building Federation, established over 100 years ago to promote the Scottish building industry. McKeating regularly attends the Federation's Health and Safety awareness programmes.

New appointments at Culverwell

Culverwell has announced two promotions within their Edinburgh and Glasgow based retail agency teams, both effective from 1 May, 2007.

James Godfrey has been appointed a Partner at Culverwell. Since joining James has been handling high street and shopping centre acquisitions and disposals. He is currently advising on the redevelopment of the St James Shopping Centre, Edinburgh on behalf of Henderson Global investors.

Kevin Sims has been appointed an Associate Partner at Culverwell. Kevin has also been handling high street and shopping centre acquisitions and disposals, while having notable success with recent lettings at Buchanan Galleries. He has also had similar success in Poundland?s Scottish expansion campaign.

Alex Culverwell commented, "We are delighted to be able to promote both James and Kevin to more senior positions within the company. They have consistently proved themselves over recent years and their indepth knowledge and natural flair for the retail sector is an asset to Culverwell and our clients."

Thursday, May 03, 2023

Record online readership of the Property Executive website

It's been yet another record month for the Property Executive website in April 07 with over twelve and a half thousand visitors reading thirty thousand pages on this website. This is a large increase over the last few months and, respectively, treble and quadruple the figures from April a year ago.

APRIL 07 - 12,585 unique visitors reading 29,807 pages.

MARCH 07 - 9,117 unique visitors reading 21,718 pages.

APRIL 06 - 4,214 unique visitors reading 7,702 pages.

There are two main factors to the rise. Firstly the search engine optimisation of the Directory and Property sections of the website is giving company listings high rankings in the search engines and bringing in significant traffic. Secondly the news page is regularly updated every few days and the news articles rank highly in the search engines and give visitors a reason to return to the website to check the latest news.

The business directory contains the listing of over 150 companies in the UK commercial property industry and is growing every month. Standard listings are free and it's easy to sign your company up from the directory page on this website

Syndicate invests £26m in Phase Two of Hamilton International Park

The expansion of Hamilton International Park (HIP) is gathering pace with the announcement of the sale of two buildings.

A Chancery partnership investor syndicate has purchased the properties - the 24,000 sq ft Fenick House and 39,000 sq ft Fintry House, for a combined total of £26million.

HFD Developments, who bought its joint venture partner AWG Property out of their interest in the Park earlier this year, are delighted with the early success.

William Hill, managing director of HFD Group, commented: "We are extremely pleased that the sales of Fintry and Fenick houses have been completed. HIP and its sister park Strathclyde Business Park (SBP) are widely accepted as the most sought after business park locations in central Scotland and the sale is testament to the outstanding investment potential of both Parks.

"Investment sales have now reached £131.5m at Hamilton International and, despite the expansion of nearby competitors such as Eurocentral, we believe we are in a strong position to maintain our competitive advantage over our rivals."

With a current workforce of over 4,000, HIP has been experiencing significant growth over the last few years and the construction of over 1,000 new homes in adjacent Westcraigs further indicates the levels of investment and growth the area is experiencing.

Lambert Smith Hampton represented the Chancery Partnership, and HFD Developments were self-represented.

Ethel Austin and Highneal joint venture sells Merseyside retail investment

A joint venture between Ethel Austin Investment Properties and Highneal, advised by Capital Retail and Mason Owen, has sold the freehold investment of 29 shops in Huyton, Merseyside to Ventnor.

The properties, located on Derby Road and Sherbourne Square, have been sold for £10.5m, reflecting a net initial yield of 7.2%.

Totalling 28,000 sq ft with additional upper floor accommodation, the shops are let to tenants including KFC, Lunn Poly, British Heart Foundation, New Look and Local Authority and provide a total annual rent of £800,000.

Collin Walker and Company advised Ventnor.

Cairnduff Developments appoints Savills to manage Glasgow's Rutherglen Shopping Centre

Cairnduff Developments has recently appointed Savills to manage Rutherglen Shopping Centre in Glasgow.

The scheme, which totals in excess of 100,000 sq ft, is built over one level and accommodates 40 tenants including Sommerfield, Woolworths and Superdrug.

Martin Wallace, director at Savills, comments: "We are delighted with this new instruction from Cairnduff Developments, who want us to manage the property with a real emphasis on retailers and enhancing the already established tenant mix at the scheme. We are looking forward to working with the company to successfully deliver its goals and objectives at Rutherglen Shopping Centre".

English Partnerships appoints new Area Director for Greater Manchester

English Partnerships has appointed David Chilton as Area Director for Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Cumbria.

In this new role David, 38, has responsibility for English Partnerships' regeneration and development activity in the region including work with strategic partnerships for housing renewal, Urban Regeneration Companies, Housing Market Renewal Pathfinders and the New Islington Millennium Community in East Manchester.

Manchester-born David joined English Partnerships in 2002 as a Senior Development Manager responsible for the Urban Regeneration Companies in the West Midlands and South West of England. More recently he was Senior Regeneration Manager for the Manchester city region.

A graduate of Urban and Regional Planning at Sheffield Hallam University, David began his career in the planning and housing departments of Tameside MBC before taking on various roles at West Pennine Housing Association, Northern Counties Housing Association and Collingwood Housing Association.

He is also a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute and a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing.

Paul Spooner, English Partnerships' Regional Director for the North West and West Midlands, said, "I would like to congratulate David on his new role. He has vast experience in public sector regeneration and has proven experience of delivering complex regeneration projects."

David said, "I am delighted to accept this challenging new role and am looking forward to working with our partners on the delivery of some of the key projects in the North West."