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 30, 2023

Opus Land complete three industrial deals in the North East

Opus Land, one of the leading property development and investment companies in the north of England, has completed a hat-trick of deals at Opus Park in Stockton-on-Tees.

The deals follow the completion of a £2.3million refurbishment of the former MFI factory site on Teesside.

Yorkshire-based developers Opus Land have renamed the 360,000 sq ft site Opus Park and have transformed it into a modern, industrial/warehouse complex with unit sizes ranging from 9,300 sq ft to 150,000 sq ft. It is situated in the heart of Stockton's Preston Farm Industrial Estate and is now ready for occupation.

Unit 1A, comprising 30,000 sq ft, has been sold to Hull-based developers Osprey for £1.25 million. The tenants are MKM Builders.

Unit 2C, comprising 11,500 sq ft, has been sold to Teesside-based light engineering company DMG for £525,000.

Unit 2D, comprising 18,000 sq ft, has been sold to the York-based developers The Helmsley Group for £1.185 million. This has been let on a 15-year lease to Cummins Ltd, manufacturers of diesel engines, alternators and generators, at £4.50 per sq ft.

Opus Land bought the 16.5-acre site adjacent to the A66 in September 2006 after MFI announced that it was to close its Stockton factory.

Director Andrew Duncan said: "This hat-trick of deals, in a difficult economic climate, is a ringing endorsement of the quality of the development. We have spent £2.3 million on Opus Park, creating 11 high-spec, high-quality units for lease or sale - individually or in multiples to suite occupiers - as well as re-cladding and generally refurbishing the site.

"This has transformed the old MFI factory into a modern industrial and warehousing complex for the 21st century".

Mr Duncan said: "Opus Park is superbly located in the Tees Valley with excellent access to the national motorway network from the A66. It is also close to Durham Tees Valley Airport and Teesport. It suits modern manufacturing and warehousing companies perfectly."

Opus Park is one of the largest available manufacturing sites in the North-East this year and Opus Land is confident the site will continue to prove extremely popular.

Mr Duncan added: "We are in discussions with a number of potential occupiers ranging from 10,000 to 15,000 sq ft right up to 150,000 sq ft, with one unit now under offer."

Jonathan Simpson, at Sanderson Weatherall's Teesside office, said: "Buildings of this size, nature and prominence very rarely become available in the Teesside area, particularly offering occupiers the chance to purchase.

"Industrial/ and warehousing opportunities are very limited on Preston Farm and it is relatively unlikely that further opportunities will become available in the foreseeable future," he added.

Culverwell let Unit 19 at Ayr Central to Clarks Shoes

Acting on behalf of Henry Boots Developments, Culverwell have let Unit 19, Ayr Central to Clarks Shoes. Clarks join other prestigious retailers in the open air shopping centre including H&M;, River Island, Next, Debenhams and Primark.

Clarks have taken a 10 year lease with a rent review at Year 5 at a rent of £110,000 per annum with a turnover top up. The premises extend to a gross internal area of 3,350 sq ft

Tom Ronaldson, Clarks store manager is delighted with the new store and location at Ayr Central and is looking forward to a long and prosperous future.

Joint agents are Jones Lang Lasalle and Springford & Co.

Merchant Company appoint Ryden to manage Edinburgh properties

Following a competitive tendering process, Ryden has been re-appointed by the Merchant Company to manage its portfolio of Edinburgh properties. The firm has managed the diverse portfolio for the last 12 years however the property advisor's new contract also includes building consultancy services.

Ryden's remit will include rent collection, service charge administration, planned preventative maintenance and inspections.

The portfolio comprises retail, housing, offices and a car park, including the Merchant Company's offices in Hanover Street and Albany House in Albany Street.

Susan Cameron of Ryden said: "We are pleased to be reappointed to manage the Merchant Company's property affairs after 12 years of continuous service. We feel this gives out a very positive message to the market about the quality of our advice, service and client care."

New health centre in Hendon, Sunderland, completed

P+HS Architects and Sunderland Teaching Primary Care Trust have announced the completion of a significant new health centre in Hendon, Sunderland that will provide first class healthcare services to the existing population from a state of the art, purpose built facility.

Designed by P+HS Architects, developed by Ettrick Health Limited, Jersey, and constructed by Weatherhead Construction Limited, the new Riverview Health Centre brings together three existing GP practices, The Pegasi Practice, Dr Nathan and Dr Bhate. The Centre also includes a community clinic, operated by the Primary Care Trust (PCT) and a dispensing pharmacy.

The design by P+HS creates an environment that promotes healing from the outset with light, bright and colourful features. The Centre is naturally lit and ventilated, with only stores and infrequently used rooms situated within the central core. The building is contemporary in style, providing an attractive addition to the area and creating a building which respects both staff and users.

By liaising with the future building users, P+HS explored how the building can assist them to best deliver their services. From these findings the design has provided accommodation where the majority of services are at ground level, enabling easy access to clinical services. Each practice can have its own identity and be self-contained, although the large, double height, central waiting area serves to unify the various users.

Services which require immediate access for short appointments, for example, GP surgeries are located at ground floor level. The community clinic and other shared services are located at first floor level alongside administration and staff facilities. Those elements of the community clinic requiring more intensive access, for example community group room, are located at ground floor level avoiding the need for parents with children and pushchairs having to negotiate the stairs or lifts.

The design of the building has also been successful in achieving a NEAT rating of more than 70% ['Excellent']. The building makes use of central boilers and hot water generators to provide heating and hot water requirements, controlled by a user friendly Building Energy Management System.

The heating is zoned to suit varying use/occupation of rooms so that areas can be automatically isolated when not in use. The system will also incorporate optimisation and compensation. The central atrium area is naturally ventilated using low level fresh air inlets and high level automatic opening louvres providing natural ventilation and cooling whenever possible. All lighting incorporates high-efficiency fluorescent tubes and in many instances is automatically operated.

Stephen Naylor, Head of Estates for Sunderland Primary Care Trust comments 'The new Riverview Health Centre forms part of the PCT's programme to modernise primary care throughout the City and provide as many healthcare services as possible to the local community. We are delighted that the building work is now complete and we can begin offering state of the art services to our customers'.

Joe Biggs, Director at P+HS adds; 'The new healthcare centre has some really interesting design features and proves that aesthetically pleasing buildings can also be highly functional and benefit the user by creating a healing environment. We have incorporated flexibility into the design to ensure that future expansion is possible and are very pleased with the completed building'.

Ryden lets Glasgow property for Claremont Centre Limited

On behalf of property company Claremont Centre Limited, Ryden has let Bay 1, 31 MacLellan Street, Kinning Park, Glasgow to print management UK specialists Access Plus (Scotland) Limited.

The space extends 10,000 sq ft and was let on the basis of a new FRI lease at a rent of £25,000 per annum. It will be used by Access Plus as a new depot to service Glasgow.

Charlie Lawrence, Associate at Ryden said: "I am pleased to announce this deal on behalf of my client. Kinning Park is an excellent location with good access to the M8 and the City Centre. Claremont Centre provided Access Plus with cost effective warehouse space, and I'm sure they will trade well from this location."

Access Plus joins Panalux Ltd as tenants at Kinning Park.

Access Plus was unrepresented in the deal.

£175 million mixed-use regeneration project in Huddersfield approved

Kirklees Council has approved plans for a major £175 million mixed-use regeneration project in Huddersfield by award winning architects DLG on behalf of its client Strategic Sites.

Known as the Waterfront Quarter, the development is situated on a six acre site on the edge of Huddersfield town centre between Manchester Road and Chapel Hill. As one of the largest urban renewal projects in the UK, it will comprise of a 300,000 sq ft purpose built building for Kirklees College, 190,000 sq ft of offices and 300 new homes, as well as cafes, bars and other leisure facilities.

Paul Barber, Chief Executive of Strategic Sites comments: "This decision marks an important stage on the making the Waterfront Quarter happen. The scheme will revitalise an important part of Huddersfield Town Centre and become a vibrant community in which people will come to live, work, learn and play."

Andrew Gardner, Partner at DLG Architects in Leeds comments: "Now that we have approval from Kirklees Council it is likely that construction work will commence in spring next year. The first phase will include the college building and up to 85,000 sq ft of grade A offices.

"Our plans include a mix of uses that are capable of meeting the future requirements of the town and encourage investment from outside the area."

Melanie Brooke, Vice-Principal at Kirklees College adds: "This is a significant step towards giving the people of Kirklees an outstanding place to work and learn. We are delighted that work can begin on a new campus and our vision for an even better college can start to become a reality."

The entire project is likely to be completed by 2012.

Friday, October 24, 2023

Tesco appoint Tuffin Ferraby Taylor for property survey

Supermarket giant Tesco has appointed building and property consultants, Tuffin Ferraby Taylor, to its team to carry out vendor surveys as part of a major sale and lease-back programme for its property assets.

Surveys have so far been instructed on 60 stores in England, Scotland and Wales to TFT's London, Birmingham, Bristol and Cardiff offices, with the challenge of producing professional reports quickly, in order to satisfy the requirement of information by potential purchasers.

TFT partner, Paul Spaven, says: "Tesco is a market-leading brand with a huge property portfolio and it is a testament to our reputation as independent and trust-worthy consultants to be asked to work with them. Carrying out detailed and reliable surveys in such large number is a great challenge and we have called upon the expertise we have in our offices throughout the UK to ensure we deliver a fast and efficient turn-round."

TFT is carrying out the vendor surveys on behalf of Tesco in order to make the sale process of the properties to their investment partners as smooth and open book as possible, with purchasers receiving the benefits of a full warranty as part of the package.

TFT joins a coordinated team including Fairhurst, Environ (handling EPC's and environmental assessments), GL Hearn (carrying out area measurement surveys), Berwin Leighton Paisner (lawyers) and Morgan Williams (agents).

James Fisher Defence take further space at Glasgow industrial park Westway

Subsea specialist James Fisher Defence, a division of James Fisher Marine Services Ltd has extended terms on 36,500 sq ft of space and taken a new office accommodation in Glasgow industrial park Westway.

The letting, brokered by DTZ, will see the company remain in its current industrial unit for a further five years and take a new office suite located close by within the Gatehouse Block A.

James Fisher Defence (JFD) manages, maintains and operates the Royal Navy's Submarine Rescue Service. JFD's reputation as a world leader in providing a high level rescue service was enhanced in 2005 with the successful rescue of seven Russian submariners from the stranded AS28 Priz off Russia's Pacific coast.

DTZ's Ross Sinclair said: "JFD has been based at Westway for the past 10 years and we are thrilled the company has committed for another five years as well as taking new office accommodation in the park."

Mark Holmes, of landlord Moorfield Group which owns the industrial park in a joint venture with Westbrook Partners, added: "The letting to JFD concludes a summer of significant letting activity at Westway and it is very pleasing that a company of this stature has chosen to remain long-term at Westway.

"We have invested significantly in the infrastructure, security and landscaping at Westway which, coupled with a flexible leasing approach, has enabled us to rapidly expand the number of occupiers on the park."

Stuart Irwin of JFD said: "We are delighted to commit to Westway for a further five years. We have developed a very good relationship with our landlords who recognised and understood our changing business needs, and structured a new lease to provide accommodation to meet our current requirements."

Current tenants in Westway include global temporary power supplier Aggreko, Doosan Babcock, Smurfit UK Ltd and Kintetsu World Express.

The masterplan for Westway includes proposals to link the park with Glasgow Airport via a bridge over the White Cart River. There are also plans to create 150,000 sq ft of design and build opportunities within the park.

DTZ advised Moorfield Group on the transaction and are joint letting agents on the scheme with Jones Lang LaSalle. JFD acted for itself.

£130m Elements Square at Livingston opens

Elements Square, the £130m extension to the Almondvale shopping centre at Livingston in Scotland opened to the public on Thursday 16 October. This marks the sixth major retail-led scheme designed by BDP to open this year.

Elements Square, owned by Land Securities, is a major retail addition to the town centre. Conceived as six separate buildings united by a transparent ETFE roof, it creates a new public heart for Livingston, and includes a major covered tiered space with an upper level wintergarden.

The scheme adds approx 35,000 sq m of retail to Livingston bringing the total retail offer to over 90,000 sq m. It has attracted anchor stores Debenhams and Marks & Spencer, and created 34 new unit shops plus seven restaurants and two multi-storey car parks. Central to the scheme concept is a new tree-lined avenue of restaurants and bars, to ensure vibrancy both day and night.

Built with high sustainability credentials it is the first covered retail scheme in the UK to receive a BREEAM 'Excellent' rating. The buildings are highly insulated and constructed from low environmental impact materials with a long design life such as terracotta, stone and zinc. The public spaces are ventilated by an energy efficient air displacement system with natural air and smoke extract. Other environmentally friendly features include rainwater harvesting for flushing toilets and solar panels for preheating hot water.

BDP was appointed as masterplanner, architect, landscape architect and sustainability consultant. Other consultants were Arup (structural engineer and acoustic designer), Blackwood Partnership/Wallace Whittle (services engineer), GTMS (project manager/employers agent), Gardiner and Theobald (cost consultant), Scott Wilson (highway engineer), Montagu Evans (Planner), Pinniger & Partners (lighting designer), Faber Maunsell (BREEAM assessor). The contractor was Miller Construction.

Work finishes on Sheffield designed project in Knoxville, Tennessee

Work has finished on a Sheffield designed project to build a cutting edge facility in America for a Rotherham based manufacturer.

Sheffield architects Race Cottam Associates were brought in by multi-award winning international manufacturer AESSEAL to produce design concepts for the 40,000 sq ft US production plant, incorporating offices and training areas.

The Solly Street practice was asked to come up with designs for the site in Knoxville, Tennessee having worked with AESSEAL over the last 12 years to design and help deliver the four phase expansion of the company's Rotherham based Global Technology Centre.

Plans for the project involved the conversion of a former cutlery works in a spectacular rural setting to create a clean environment for the manufacture of high-specification mechanical seals.

Race Cottam director David Cottam said: "AESSEAL are a market leading international manufacturing company and having worked closely with them on the expansion of their Rotherham headquarters over many years, we are delighted to have enhanced our international credentials by supporting the company with its facilities in the US."

AESSEAL US president Tom Grove said: "We had a real challenge to transform the fairly nondescript industrial building we purchased in Knoxville into an International Centre of Excellence.

"To affect this transformation it was important to us to bring Race Cottam into the project from the outset as we had confidence in both their design creativity and their knowledge of AES's high standards for quality, in our products as well as our buildings. They transformed the building by creating an impressive entrance and bringing excellent functionality to the office and the workshop space".

AESSEAL is one of the major specialists in the design and manufacture of engineered mechanical seals and support systems. Mechanical seals are used in pumps and rotating equipment to prevent leakage of liquids and gases into the environment.

AESSEAL, an international company, has subsidiaries in 30 countries, employing more than 1,000 people, and exporting 80 per cent of its production to 83 countries.

Gordon Bridge, Director of AESSEAL said: "The designs for our new site in Knoxville are exceptional and complement our existing world class facilities."

Tuesday, October 21, 2023

Knight Frank sells Stirling hotel in 3 weeks

Global property consultancy, Knight Frank has sold a top boutique hotel and restaurant OSTA in Stirling, only three weeks after it was placed on the open market.

David Reid, a partner at Knight Frank, handled the sale of OSTA on behalf of Morris Inns Group Ltd who own various hotels and bars, primarily within the Greater Glasgow area.

Adamo Hotels have purchased OSTA, which occupies a stunning detached building that was previously the Bank of Scotland's head office in Stirling. Morris Inns have refurbished the old bank premises into a stunning boutique hotel which includes a popular bar and restaurant, private dining areas, conference facilities and seven large and stylish bedrooms. The property also boasts superb kitchens, a customer elevator and good car parking facilities.

David Reid, partner, Knight Frank said: "Literally within a few weeks of going on the open market, I had four sets of buyers seeking to purchase OSTA, which is without doubt one the most admired and handsome buildings in Central Scotland. Morris Inns had transformed the former Bank of Scotland regional head office into an absolutely beautiful boutique hotel."

"It just goes to show that quality will always sell - even in this difficult market. We had three other parties interested in OSTA which demonstrates that there are still plenty of buyers around for the right property. It was the speed in which Euan Snowie and his team moved which proved attracted to Morris Inns and persuaded them to accept the offer over others."

Adamo Hotels Chairman Euan Snowie advised: "With the Queens Hotel in Bridge of Allan just finished refurbishment and with another new hotel in Stirling to open in the near future, OSTA offered too good an opportunity to miss. The fantastic condition of the building made it easy to move quickly on the transaction. I have an excellent management team in place and the obvious synergy of having another boutique hotel round the corner fits perfectly with my over all expansion plans for Adamo Hotels. I plan to continue running OSTA in its current format for the next few months and then I'll review customer opinions before making any fundamental changes."

Innes England secure industrial lettings in Mansfield

Innes England, acting on behalf of Abbeyfield Estates, has secured a series of high profile lettings at the Abbey Park industrial/warehouse development junction 28 at Hermitage Way in recent months.

Having acquired the site in 2007 Abbeyfield secured detailed planning consent to redevelop the site with a range of warehouse/industrial units. Since completion only four months ago four of the seven units have been let.

Unit 7 totalling 12,835 sq ft has been taken on a nine-year lease by KBB Installations, a subcontractor to B&Q; for their UK bathrooms and kitchen distribution and installation.

Three other lettings of units between 2,500 and 4,500 sq ft have been undertaken with local businesses Quest Precision Glazing, Spectrum Engineering and Benny's Cabinets. All are well established local businesses proving that the market for owner managed businesses remains strong in Mansfield.

Andy Smith of Innes England said: "There has been a really positive response to this industrial park due to the quality of the refurbishment and the location, which has excellent transport links to the M1.

"A further success for the development has been the speed at which my clients have been able to process deals, with the most recent deal to Benny Cabinets taking just 3 weeks to complete from agreement of terms. The development has bucked the trend of the market with several great deals over the markets quiet summer period."

The last 3 remaining units offer accommodation to a high standard with units 2 and 5 being able to be combined to provide circa 5,000 sq ft with 2 loading doors.

Drivers Jonas LLP in Scotland increase turnover

Drivers Jonas LLP in Scotland have announced a 4.6% increase in turnover for the year ending 31 May 2023 to £3.4m.

Commenting on financial performance, Alasdair Ramsay, Partner in Charge of Scotland for Drivers Jonas LLP, said: "As a business, we have always had a very straightforward approach to success - we recruit only the best, we work extremely hard on behalf of our clients and we work tirelessly to develop new income streams. Despite challenging conditions, we sold Innova Campus to Curo Rosyth Limited Partnership for £27m and we are continuing to act on behalf of a number of high profile clients who are looking at various investment deals. Our planning, valuation, rating and landlord & tenant departments have never been busier with a huge surge in the amount of work we do on behalf of the public sector in Scotland - no mean feat given the stringent tendering processes.

"Our people will always be our most important asset, some of which are doing fantastic work within the commercial property world including Maria Francké, Head of Planning and Development, who was appointed as UK Chairman of Women in Property earlier this year. Maria's main role is to help and encourage women across the UK into all property disciplines. Joining Maria as an Associate in the planning department this year, is Michael Dowds, former Head of Corporate Responsibility and Planning with BAA, Michael has over eight years senior level experience with public sector organisations including Renfrewshire Council and BAA Gatwick.

"In Construction Consultancy, Rebecca Loughran, who recently joined us a Senior Surveyor, is Chair of the West of Scotland RICS Matrics where she plays an active role in events and CPD organisation for young members within RICS."

Drivers Jonas converted to LLP with effect from 1 June 2008, so these results are the final results for the partnership which has been in business since 1725. The first results for Drivers Jonas LLP for the financial year to 31 May 2023 will be lodged with Companies House in late 2009.

Despite the impact of the banking liquidity crisis on property markets, the wider economy and professional service firms, DJ reports the following headlines for the group:

- Gross revenue up by 7% on 2007;

- Profits (before bonuses and tax, but after notional salaries for equity partners) up by 7% on 2007;

- Record bonus pools for employees of the firm; and

- 43% revenue increase over last 3 years.

The Spire hospital to open at Shawfair Park, Midlothian in 2010

A new £25 million diagnostic centre and hospital at Shawfair Park, just off the Edinburgh city by-pass, has secured planning permission.

The Spire hospital, which is expected to be open by the beginning of 2010, will include operating theatres, 15 beds, diagnostic facilities and a wide range of outpatient consulting services.

Work on the new hospital, which is expected to create around 70 jobs, will get underway towards the end of this year following permission from Midlothian Council.

Sandy Smith, development director at Buccleuch, which sold the three-acre site to Spire, said: "Planning approval for the new hospital marks a major milestone for Shawfair Park.

"The investment by Spire, the UK's second largest private hospital provider, is a vote of confidence in Shawfair Park, the wider region and the healthcare market, and we continue to see strong interest in this new development.

"The new hospital will be an excellent resource for the estimated 2,500 office workers on the park and the many thousands of residents who will make the new South East Wedge community their home.

Wally Bourdelov, Hospital Director of Spire's Murrayfield Hospital, said: "We are thrilled to secure planning approval at Shawfair Park and are looking forward to starting work on the new hospital, which will complement our existing facility in Edinburgh.

"This state-of-the-art hospital will provide major new employment opportunities for people in the area and we have already begun recruiting clinicians and support staff.

"This development reflects our commitment to investing in our hospitals, ensuring we provide the best private healthcare service possible and offer top quality clinical treatment and state-of-the-art facilities for our patients."

Cameron Stott, director of Jones Lang LaSalle, which acted for Buccleuch, said: "With planning permission now in place we are extremely positive about the prospects for Shawfair. There has been significant interest in the developments and the location of Shawfair Park is a major attraction for potential occupiers."

Shawfair Park will provide approximately 300,000 square feet of office space along with a hotel and a number of other facilities to support the businesses that locate there. It provides the 'gateway' to the wider South East Wedge proposals which will include 3,500 new homes, 2 new schools, and a town centre. Midlothian Council's new £1.9 million Sheriffhall Park & Ride facility will play a key role in supporting the developments.

Buccleuch Property is represented by Jones Lang LaSalle and Montagu Evans. Edinburgh based Ashkirk Properties advised Spire on the acquisition of the site and provides Spire with strategic property advice throughout the UK.

Terminal 2 at Manchester Airport completed

The £20 million, Pascall+Watson-designed redevelopment of Terminal 2 at Manchester Airport has completed. The project maximises retail revenue opportunities whilst enhancing passenger experience, improving wayfinding, and enabling the growth of the terminal building to meet future passenger demand.

West Yorkshire landmark gains blue plaque

A blue plaque has being unveiled to mark the heritage of a Wakefield landmark that has being brought back to life.

The Chair of First, Margaret Wood, praised property firm Magna Holdings for 'bringing out the new from the old', as she unveiled the plaque at the Charles Roberts Office Park at Horbury Junction.

The event, organised by Magna Holdings, who own the office park, along with the Horbury Civic Society, was also attended by Wakefield's Mayor, Cllr Jacqui Williams and local councillors. As Ms Wood unveiled the plaque, commemorating the rich history of the Charles Roberts Office Park, she spoke about how pleased she was that the former factory was helping to bring entrepreneurial spirit back to Horbury.

From the Central Pier at Blackpool to the Central Line on the London Underground, the fruits of the labour from the Charles Roberts factory could be seen all over the country at one time. The site manufactured the Churchill tanks that helped to win the Second World War, Coronation trams that ferried holidaymakers around Blackpool, and had the sole patent for wooden railway carriages. Local playwright, Stan Barstow was once an employee at the Charles Roberts factory and he recounts how romance blossomed with his wife, while they were both working at the firm, in his autobiography 'In His Own Good Time'

The factory was taken over by Bombardier in 1990, who refurbished London Underground carriages at the site, until their closure in 2005. When the Bombardier factory closed, 400 local jobs were lost and the site stood silent after more than a century of industry.

But as Mrs Wood pointed out, the event was not only a commemoration of the past but also a celebration of what is shaping up to be a bright future for the Charles Roberts Office Park.

Digby Lovel, development director of Magna Holdings said: "This blue plaque is a great way of celebrating the huge part that the Charles Roberts factory and Bombardier played in our industrial heritage, and Magna Holdings are very proud to have helped bring entrepreneurial spirit back to the site. We have a varied selection of clients, some with international links, who are getting the name of Horbury associated with world-class industry again."

The Charles Roberts Office Park has enjoyed a renaissance since Magna began renovations last year. It is now a thriving entrepreneurial community, with a string of international tenants taking up residence. Some of it's tenants include international marine boiler company, Aolberg Industries who have offices in Denmark, Finland and Sweden and French textile company Asselin Thibeau.

Wednesday, October 15, 2023

Centrica let space at Hamilton's International Park

Following the recent acquisition of a high quality industrial unit at Hamilton International Park, HF Developments' recently appointed joint agents Cushman & Wakefield, DTZ and Lambert Smith have let the building to leading gas and electricity supplier Centrica.

Situated at the highest point in the Park, the 25,000 sq ft unit had been re-branded and launched in April as Summit Point. The building provides 18,661 sq ft (1,734 sq m) of high quality warehouse or production space, with 6,428 sq ft (597 sq m) of modern office accommodation, secure yardage and dedicated car parking, and will be used by Centrica as a regional training centre.

Mark Lycett, Estates Manager, explained why Centrica chose Hamilton International Park "Our goal was to find a high quality business location which would provide the necessary amenities for the Trainee Engineers and the Academy Staff. Hamilton's excellent location, coupled with the quality of accommodation and facilities available, presented the perfect opportunity for us to expand."

One of Scotland's leading business locations, Hamilton International Park is enjoying one of it's most successful years to date, with the Centrica deal coming hot on the heels of recent office lettings to Carillion and First Engineering (now Babcock Rail). The letting takes the total space let by HF Developments at the Park this year to date to 119,000 sq ft.

Development Director Stephen Lewis, is clear as to the reasons for the Park's success.

"As both developer and Landlord, our tenants are at the heart of everything we do, and we look at every property in our portfolio from the tenant's perspective. Years of heavy investment in improving the working environment and experience for the 4,000 employees at Hamilton International Park has proven a key contributor in attracting further tenants to the Park.

"The Retail Parade is trading well, and we have seen an encouraging rise in the level of take up in our free bus pass scheme.

Stuart Gibson, Associate at Cushman & Wakefield, commented "Both myself and my joint agents at DTZ and Lambert Smith Hampton had been delighted with the early success in letting the unit so soon after being instructed by HF Developments. We were able to secure the deal within 16 weeks of receiving initial instructions. Our principle marketing material had only just been released when the deal was passed into legal hands."

Centrica were represented by Steven McLachlan at Atisreal who confirmed that Summit Point represented exactly the type of property and flexibility of deal that his client had been seeking.

Yorkshire's Horbury Group secures £25m of new deals

A dedicated move into public sector contracts has paid dividends for a South Yorkshire based national construction specialist.

Horbury Group has concluded contracts worth almost £25m on new hospitals, schools and other public sector developments in the UK, demonstrating a shrewd move away from residential contracts.

The group's Titan Ceilings subsidiary has accounted for £9m of contracts on projects including the £119 Manchester Civil Justice Centre and the £560m University Hospital Birmingham (UHB), MWS Joinery has completed more than £4m of contracts including work on UHB and Sheffield's £19m J1 & J2 Riverside, taken by the Home Office.

In addition to this, the group's Horbury Building Systems has completed more than £10m of contracts including work on the £50m Thomas Deacon Academy in Peterborough and the £65m Castle Hill Cancer Centre in Hull.

Trevor Wragg, managing director of the Horbury Group, said: "Horbury's move towards public sector has been consistent with the group's business plan, which is based upon providing the very best service to our clients and clearly counts for both private and public sector projects.

"The group's success in this field means that we will continue to pursue increasingly complex contracts as the government maintains its programme to build more schools and hospitals."

Horbury Group recently announced the appointment of four new staff across its sales and estimates division, and a move into a landmark new £5.5m headquarters in Moorgate, Rotherham.

The company has also announced the launch of its ninth subsidiary, Croft Electrical Engineering Ltd, which provides a wide range of services including planned maintenance, facilities management, fire alarm systems, security systems, data systems, power and lighting and access control.

RBG Limited expand in Aberdeen

RBG Limited, the leading oil, gas and petrochemical services provider, is to move into a new central base at Pitmedden Road, Dyce, after successfully leasing five units from Ashley Group, at a combined rent of over £900,000. Each lease runs for a period of 15 years without any breaks, with entry backdated to January 2008.

Alan Stewart, a property partner at law firm Maclay Murray & Spens LLP, who advised RBG Limited on the deal, commented: "These new lease acquisitions will allow RBG Limited to consolidate and grow their existing business from one central office and industrial location. Occupier demand from the oil and gas sector for good quality accommodation clearly remains high, as does development activity generally in the Aberdeen area, where we are busy advising a number of clients."

Andrew Glen, chief financial officer of RBG Limited, added: "This expansion will support our continued growth and provide an excellent, central location from which to service our expanding client base, with a significant impact on RBG Limited's ability to perform and deliver."

Glasgow University takes on new campus lease

Glasgow University has taken a lease on new industrial warehouse/storage space at Govan close to its West End campus while simultaneously surrendering the lease on its previous premises at Kingston Bridge.

The university has taken a new 10-year lease, with a mutual break option at year five, on a 27,124 sq ft industrial warehouse at 38 Loanbank Quadrant, Govan, for £99,000 pa. The single-storey building has been leased from Turner & Co (Glasgow) Ltd, a private company with extensive property ownership in the area.

On the same day as leasing the Govan premises, the university agreed to surrender the lease on its warehouse premises at Stanley Street, Kingston Bridge, which the landlord is seeking to redevelop. The university was paid a premium of £150,000 to surrender its lease early.

Gerald Eve advised the university in its search for new premises and on the Govan deal; GL Hearn represented Turner & Co.

Jennifer Addis of Gerald Eve comments: "We needed to move quickly to find and acquire new warehouse premises for the university within a short distance of their previous property and of the university campus itself. It was gratifying to complete this deal on the same day as the university surrendered its previous lease, providing a very satisfactory outcome."

Bill Taylor of GL Hearn adds: " Having recently acquired the premises at Loanbank Quadrant to incorporate into its substantial landholding in this locality, our clients are pleased to have secured the University of Glasgow as a tenant. Turner & Co was able to offer a remarkably quick entry date which suited the university's requirements."

West Yorkshire castle sold by Savills for over £2m

Dobroyd Castle in West Yorkshire has been sold by Savills to Robinwood Activity Centre Limited. The substantial Grade II Listed property, which came to the market with a guide price of £2,250,000, has been sold by Savills on behalf of the Losang Dragpa Buddhist Centre who occupied the property until September 2007.

The Robinwood Activity Centre Limited provides residential adventure courses in the UK for children aged 8 to 11 years and this sale will open a positive new chapter in the history of an impressive landmark building.

Matthew Jones of Savills in Leeds comments, "We are very pleased to conclude the sale of Dobroyd Castle to Robinwood Activity Centre and that the Castle will be brought back to life with the range of activity that Robinwood will be offering"

Dobroyd Castle comprises an imposing 19th Century Grade II listed castle with extensive accommodation overlooking Todmorden and the surrounding countryside set in approximately 17.5 acres. In addition to the Castle, which comprised approximately 25,000 sq ft accommodation, there were 3 further accommodation blocks with 40 bedrooms, gymnasium, work shops and garages.

Dobroyd Castle was originally built by John Fielden as a "Honeymoon" home for his wife Ruth Stansfield being completed in 1869. The castle remained in the Fielden family until 1942 when it was acquired by the Government and operated by the Home Office as an Approved School for boys. The property remained in educational use under different ownership, until 1989 when the independent Castle School for Boys closed down. The property then stood vacant for 6 years until it was acquired in 1995 by the Monks of the New Kadampa Buddhist Tradition who subsequently established the Losang Dragpa Centre at the Castle offering meditation courses and weekend retreats for visitors.

Thursday, October 09, 2023

Centralpoint opens with over 400,000 sq ft of industrial space

Scotland's latest logistics park has been showcased to some of the country's leading property agents at an event featuring one of the key figures from Sky TV?s Gladiators programme.

Centralpoint - the Elite Logistics Park - is the latest development at Eurocentral and provides over 423,660 sq ft of new industrial space across six buildings.

Completed in September, the agents toured the new logistics park which is adjacent to the prestigious £330 million Maxim Office Park and were brought up-to-date on developments on site which include the recent deal with TRAC International.

The guests also took part in a 'Gladiator Challenge' of team activities under the guidance of Scottish Gladiator, Battleaxe, from the Sky One hit TV series.

Karen Campbell, Chief Executive of TAL CPT Land Development LLP, the developers behind both the Maxim and Centralpoint schemes, said: "It was important to have the agents visit Centralpoint in order to have them fully appreciate the quality of the park.

"The secure park environment with its range of state-of-the-art new warehouse and distribution units and its direct access to the facilities we will have at Maxim Office Park - ensures tenants will enjoy a superb distribution location coupled with access to retail and leisure amenities and world class park offered at Maxim.

"The Enterprise Zone status at Centralpoint also allows us to offer very attractive incentive packages on the industrial units which range from 4,964m2 (53,434 sq ft) to 11,379m2 (122,483 sq ft)."

Steve Turner, Regional Director of Muse Developments Ltd and Eurocentral Partnership Ltd said: "Eurocentral now offers occupiers even greater opportunities with bespoke Enterprise zone, Design and Build facilities up to 450,000 sq ft, the Artemis building (71,000 sq ft) and now the Centralpoint buildings, Eurocentral will be even more successful in attracting leading businesses. In recent months Warburtons and James Latham have joined the other leading distribution companies on site."

TRAC International, a leading supplier of specialist engineering services concluded a deal last month to become the first tenant at Centralpoint, taking 3,833 sq m at the Athena building.

Garden Park Investments gain Van Hage as anchor tenant

Garden Park Investments has secured Van Hage, the garden centre operator, as the anchor tenant for its £25 million Peterborough Garden Park scheme, which totals 89,000 sq ft and will feature 17 units suitable for complementary retailers.

Van Hage has agreed a 25 year lease on the 50,000 sq ft garden centre property and the 80,000 sq ft external sales area.

Work began this week on the scheme which is located adjacent to the city's ring road (Paston Parkway) at its junction with the A47. The scheme has been designed, by award-winning architects Lyons+Sleeman+Hoare, to provide high quality accommodation for Van Hage and the other retailers in units from 1,200 sq ft - 7,200 sq ft.

Edward Olley, chief executive of Garden Park Investments, says: "Van Hage is one of the highest quality operators in the UK, providing not only a wealth of horticultural knowledge but also an inspirational garden and leisure shopping experience for its customers.

"The garden park will provide the public with an innovative retail and leisure destination that combines the attributes of a traditional garden centre and an accessible retail scheme with an exciting mix of lifestyle retailers."

Chris Roberts, Chairman of Van Hage adds: "Peterborough Garden Park will be a major shopping destination for the East of England. We are delighted to be investing in such an exciting and progressive town, which is a perfect fit for the Van Hage business."

Construction of Peterborough Garden Park will be completed in the late summer 2009 and will open to the public in the Autumn 2009.

Cushman & Wakefield and Hammond Phillips have been appointed as joint letting agents for the scheme.

Edinburgh's Prestonfield Park continues its popularity with industrial occupiers

Prestonfield Park continues to be the preferred location for Edinburgh industrial occupiers, with King Sturge securing the latest pre-let on Phase 2 of the development to The BSS Group PLC, trading as PTS Plumbing Supplies (PTS).

PTS has agreed a ten-year deal on Unit 1, Block F, which is a brand new end terrace unit that extends to 3,250 sq ft. The annual rental is £22,750 (£7 per sq ft). and the fit out is currently in progress, with an opening being imminent.

PTS is part of The BSS Group plc, which is the second largest plumbing and heating merchant in the UK with branches nationwide. The company has 29 branches situated in the major cities and towns around Scotland and this latest unit will also be used for trade counter purposes.

Commenting on the deal, Hitesh Chauhan, Group Property Surveyor of The BSS Group, said: "PTS is a growing company with a very specific property brief. We are extremely happy to secure space at Prestonfield, which satisfies our needs in terms of quality and location."

Phase 2, which is being developed on a speculative basis, has proved to be equally as popular as Phase 1, with only Units 2 & 3 in Block F remaining available. Unit 2 is 3,229 sq.ft. whilst Unit 3 is 4,897 sq.ft. and they are available separately or as a whole at £7 per sq.ft. They have already attracted strong interest with terms being issued to a single occupier.

Four other pre-lets have already been secured - 15,263 sq ft at Block D to Express Removals, 11,412 sq ft at Block E to Howden Joinery Limited, and existing phase one occupier St Andrews Timber is moving to Block H, which extends to 15,672 sq ft with a large secure yard. All of these units have now reached practical completion, whilst work is continuing on the 25,000 sq.ft. Block G, which is pre-let to the City of Edinburgh Council.

St Andrews Timber's existing stand alone 6,000 sq ft unit at Block A, Phase 1, will become available for occupation in early 2009 following their move to Block H and a full refurbishment programme. Also in Phase 1, Block B Unit 1 has recently been vacated, and fully refurbished, and this smaller unit of 3,000 sq ft. adjacent to City Electrical Factors is now available to lease, also at £7 per sq ft.

Commenting on the overall success of the development, Kirsty Palmer, Senior Associate, from King Sturge in Edinburgh said: "To receive such strong ongoing interest and to secure pre-lets from a range of high profile, national occupiers as well as established local occupiers is continuing proof that Prestonfield is satisfying demand in Edinburgh for good quality, well located industrial property."

Alistair McArthur, Senior Development Manager of Walker Group (Scotland) Ltd added: "Prestonfield Park plays a strategic role in the ongoing regeneration of the Craigmillar area. Our bold commitment to develop on a speculative basis has been rewarded by the phenomenal demand for space at the park."

Prestonfield Park has been developed by the Prestonfield Development Company Ltd, a joint venture between J. Smart & Co. (Contractors) PLC and the Walker Group Scotland Ltd. It is situated adjacent to Peffermill Industrial Estate at the end of Kings Haugh and sandwiched between Duddingston Road West and Peffermill Road to the South East of the City Centre.

Agents for the scheme are Lambert Smith Hampton and King Sturge. The BSS Group was self-represented.

Race Cottam Associates finish £20m Derby school

Children in Derby have enjoyed their first day at a new school, built to replace a facility on the same site destroyed by fire two years ago.

The new £20.5 million Sinfin Community School was designed by Sheffield architects Race Cottam Associates and has transformed the site into a modern, striking showcase school.

The 1000-plus pupil school welcomed its first students for the new term after opening on schedule this week.

The scheme confirms Race Cottam's growing reputation in the education sector and reflects a strong partnership with the school, which has specialist status in engineering.

Head teacher Steve Monks said: "It has been wonderful to see pupils arrive for their first day at school at this exceptional new facility. The blueprints for the school included the very latest thinking in education design and the result is a fantastic facility for teachers and pupils alike.

"Working with Race Cottam Associates has made the building of our new school much easier for us. Their innovative ideas, creative problem solving and client centred approach has produced a building that will enhance the achievement of our students for years to come."

The school is also believed to be one of the greenest in the region, with environmental features including a bio-mass boiler, wind turbine, grey water recycling, natural ventilation, a large pond and wildlife habitats.

Matt Beach, project architect at Race Cottam, said: "Sinfin Community School can now boast a range of best practice ecological features, making it a shining example of sustainable design in education.

"The finished school is the result of many months of hard work and is one of many education schemes Race Cottam have delivered from design to completion over the past few years."

Race Cottam have also submitted plans to Derby City Council for a second project at the school. The project will convert the school's existing library and science block into a building comprising a vocational skills centre with rooms dedicated for catering and engineering courses.

Subject to planning permission, the start of the building work is anticipated to start in November.

Lambert Smith Hampton make new appointment in Newcastle

In a move which will further boost its presence in the North East, leading commercial property consultancy, Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH) has strengthened its Newcastle office with the appointment of Karen Shorten as Head of Industrial Agency.

Karen joins LSH from storeys: ssp, where she spent five years specialising in industrial and warehousing acquisitions and disposals.

Having graduated from the University of Northumbria with a degree in Urban Property Surveying, Karen went on to work for DTZ in its York and Manchester offices, before joining storeys:ssp. She is also a member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and the Industrial Agents Society.

Karen will work alongside recently-appointed Head of Agency, Stewart Thomson and his five-strong team to provide a first-class, all-encompassing agency service to a variety of regional and national clients, including Valad Property Group, Mandale Commercial, Del Monte, TUI, Synergy Healthcare and Land Securities Trillium.

Karen said: "Joining LSH gives me a great opportunity to be part of a business where I can really add value. Being part of the UK and Ireland's largest commercial property consultancy will be an exciting challenge."

Darron Barker, Head of the Newcastle office, added: "This appointment reinforces LSH's strategy to grow the business in the North East. With Karen now on board, we are confident we have assembled an agency team of the highest calibre and the widest range of experience that will really drive the business forward."