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Build it and they will come: Speculative industrial/warehouse developments proving successful

February, 2024

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Contact: Tom Drake

Tel: 01604 620616

Despite the slight uncertainty in the economy over the last 18-24 months, those developers in the industrial and warehouse sector that have committed to speculatively develop new schemes have been rewarded.

The cost of construction has reached record levels over the last 12 months but we are starting to see this taper off. In addition, rental levels have continued to rise and demand has remained robust with a continued lack of supply of good quality product.

Developers in our market, Northamptonshire/Warwickshire and the wider M1 corridor, have enjoyed a range of successes on speculative schemes in the last 12 months and Drake & Partners have been delighted to have advised on a number of such examples.

At Signal Park in Daventry, Claymore have developed a multi let scheme, building a total of nearly 60,000 sq ft over 15 units, which reached practical completion part of the way through 2023. Interest in the scheme has proved strong and we have agreed lettings to a range of both local and national companies, who have been very positive about the modern specification the units offer versus the slightly older alternatives that have been available. The scheme is now down to its last 2 units available, with strong interest in both.

At Towcester, our clients Hampton Brook have developed a brand new unit of circa 40,000 sq ft, which generated a good deal of interest not just once completed but throughout the construction period. We are delighted to have secured a letting to Sytner within 3 months of practical completion, who have taken the space to compliment an additional facility they have in close proximity.

Over in Woodford Halse, another of our clients Hereford Storage have been continuing to speculatively build units in phases at Manor Business Park. Another 15,000 sq ft was developed in 2023 and was snapped up by existing tenants on the estate.

Finally in Wellingborough, Drake & Partners are acting for St Modwen who have built three high spec units as part of Phase 1 of their development at St Modwen Park which is within the new Stanton Cross development to the east of Wellingborough town centre. Lettings have already been completed on 43,000 sq ft to Premier Paper and 96,000 sq ft to Transglobal, leaving the final remaining unit of 183,606 sq ft which is immediately available. The unit has being constructed to achieve a BREEAM excellent energy rating and includes a number of energy efficient features including Photovoltaic Panels on the roof.

Drake & Partners are also seeing this confidence from clients and developers as we head into 2024 and have a number of new opportunities set to be developed speculatively.

In Rugby at Parkfield Business Park, we have recently let approx. 40,000 sq ft of refurbished space for Jelmac Properties who are now applying for planning permission to add a smaller 6,500 sq ft unit at the front of the estate.

Also in Wellingborough, we are advising Stepnell Developments on their 30 acre Ogee Business Park development which is located on the Finedon Road Industrial Estate. Stepnell are preparing to submit a detailed planning application for a new detached 52,500 sq ft distribution unit, which will incorporate dock level and level access loading doors in addition to a 40 metre deep secure yard. The building will be available on both freehold and leasehold terms and a further announcement on this is expected shortly.

Confidence is returning to the development sector across the region and this is evidenced with the interest being shown in the development land bank that we are advising clients on across the region. We are currently advising on a range of commercial development land totalling in excess of 400 acres, which at various stages in the planning process but will all provide valuable and much needed stock of manufacturing, storage and distribution space.

To discuss any of these opportunities then please contact us on 01604 620616 / enquiries@drakeandpartners.co.uk

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