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DIG FOR

victory

Such is the pressure for

industrial property at, or close

to, Heathrow that new ideas

are coming through to provide

more space on a given site.

First it was the double decker

and now investors are being sought

for a £300 million underground

facility of 185,800 sq.metres

(2 million

sq.ft

.) at Rectory Farm,

Hounslow. Formal Investments is

being advised by Savills and CBRE

and the scheme already has

planning permission.

Rental projections are for

similar levels to Heathrow at

£118.36 a sq.metre (£11 a

sq.ft.

).

`

Nicholas King of Formal said:

“Getting planning for a site is an

achievement, particularly for a

new concept like this one”.

This type of project does make

sense in an area like Heathrow

where the rents make it possible

to get structures that are higher

cost construction projects.

Bridget Outtrim of Savills said:

“Rectory Farm demonstrates the

large range of opportunities there

are to create storage space”.

Artist’s

impression of

Rectory Farm

The opening of the 53,882 sq.metres

(580,000

sq.ft

.) Lexicon Shopping

Centre as part of a £760 million

regeneration is set to boost the

performance of the commercial

market in Bracknell

Bracknell is already a strong

performer this year, said Simon

Fryer of Fryer Commercial, with

23,225 sq.metres (250,000

sq.ft.

)

let or under offer and the town is

now short of prime office space.

“We have lost about 69,675 sq.metres

(750,000

sq.ft

.) of offices to

residential conversion, so there

is only around 46,450 sq.metres

(500,000

sq.ft

.) of Grade A and B

available”, Fryer said.

The fact that there is little new

development means that rents

will increase, he added. He quoted

1 Arlington Square, where Fryer

Commercial is seeking £301.28 a

sq.metre (£28 a

sq.ft.

), well ahead

of a recent high.

While the economic uncertainty

over Brexit may pervade many

boardrooms, there is an antidote

to this in Oxfordshire where the

business parks are in such rude

health.

There is a proliferation of new

developments planned for the

parks combined with the arrival of

new occupiers and the expansion of

indigenous companies. The flavour

can be captured by the Canada

Pension Plan Investment Board

(CPPIB) buying Hermes’ 50% stake

in Milton Park for around £200

million.

The largest speculative

development Oxfordshire has ever

seen is at Harwell Campus, where

a 17,651 sq.meets (190,000

sq.ft

.)

development is underway, part of

which is the refurbishment and

expansion of the Runway building,

following the completion last year

of the Genesis building. It is

anticipated that the 5,574

sq.metres (60,000

sq.ft

.) Zephyr

building will be predominantly pre

let. Zephyr, along with two sister

buildings, is complementary to the

4,645 sq.metres (50,000

sq.ft

.)

Quad One development which

will complete this year.

An example of the type of

occupier at Harwell is Cobalt Light

Systems (now part of Agilent

Technologies Inc) who are leasing

a 2,183 sq.metres (23,500

sq.ft

.

bespoke building. Cobalt, the

fastest growing SME in the UK in

2015 and Queen’s Award for

Enterprise winner, is moving from

Milton Park.

William Cooper of Harwell

Campus Management

commented: “The campus is

witnessing the most significant

growth seen in this sector

anywhere in the UK at the

present time, creating a European

innovation district comparable to

MIT in the USA”.

Oxford

HITS THE HIGH NOTE

NEWS

Commercial Property Register

October 2017 - February 2018

www.compropregister.com

6

A LEXICON FOR

growth

BLOOMING

Bicester

Smaller science and business

parks are also thriving in

Oxfordshire, an example of which

is the new PERCH business centre

at Elmsbrook, Bicester.

The 1,399 sq.metres

(15.064

sq.ft.

) building, which is

being promoted by Cherwell District

Council, is aimed at small local

businesses. Interestingly, it has

received funding from the European

Regional Development Fund.

Also at Elmsbrook, Crest

Nicholson and A2 Dominion are

building 232 eco homes, 30%

of which are affordable, in an

£80 million project.

IN BRIEF

A

positive view of the market is shown by Adrian Dolan of Duncan Bailey

Kennedy, who said: “ Despite Brexit, the commercial property market in

High Wycombe has proved robust across all sectors so far this year. Rents

above £10 a sq ft have been achieved on Cressex Business Park and there

is demand from owner occupiers wishing to purchase their own units”.

Picture courtesy of Vogt