The return of the M62 corridor as a logistics location is back on the cards. According to Andrew Pexton of GVA Grimley: “The M62 corridor has always been a relatively strong location in terms of the requirements of distribution companies. Over recent years, however, we have seen a trend towards companies locating along the M6 axis, which seems more suited to distribution company requirements and the distribution network. Notwithstanding this there is obviously a need for occupiers to reconsider sites on the M62 corridor.”
Andrew Gent of Gent Visik says: “In the past occupiers considering the M62 motorway corridor looked for RDCs while the M18 historically has been picked by the NDCs. I think this was a reflection of scarcity of sites along the M62 motorway.
“For end users specifically looking to serve Yorkshire, the North and the North West it can’t get much better and it feeds into the Midlands either by using the M1 or M6 motorways.
“It links both east and west as well as north and south. And it seems to be a major factor in Marks & Spencer’s decision to select the Bradford site recently.”
The retailer hopes to build a one million sq ft distribution centre on land owned by developer ProLogis at the former West Bowling Golf Club, which has been earmarked by Bradford Council as premier employment land.
The depot would accommodate up to 2,500 jobs. These jobs will be across a broad spectrum of skills ranging from highly skilled technicians, IT operatives and managers, workers, drivers, semi-skilled operatives and office/call centre workers.
A Planning Application is currently being prepared and due for submission shortly. Subject to receiving Planning Permission, ProLogis would expect to start work on preparing the 90-acre site off Rooley Lane by the end of this year.
The site will be built in phases, with the Marks & Spencer facility forming phase 1. This would take around 18 months to complete and Marks & Spencer would expect the unit to be fully operational by 2010. Dove Haigh Philips is advising ProLogis.
“Until recently,” Pexton says: “The M62 corridor has suffered for a period of time with having a lack of available sites for development. The only sites that were available for several years have been at the end of the M62 corridor in the Liverpool conurbation at Speke, where the Avarto Burtlesman unit has been completed, and the spec build of The Vault (610,000 sq ft) has also been completed.
Gent agrees: “The beauty of M62 corridor having had limited sites for the past five or six years is that now it has a lot!”
These include Kingsway at Rochdale and Omega in Warrington. Sara Jane Preston of Atisreal says: “Things have got off the ground at Kingsway and they are now actually on site. It has been a long time in the waiting but it will have its day – it’s a great location. We are seeing the first speculative buildings they have up – smaller units ranging from 15,000 – 20,000 sq ft up to 45,000 sq ft.
“At the Omega site we hear they have a lot of interest which is good news. It looks like the developer is going to bring forward a first phase of one million sq ft.”
However, there are market rumours that apparently the planning application has a big number for B2 manufacturing allocation and not B8 distribution warehouses. This is a prime motorway location ideally suited for B8 it would be bad to see it overly allocated to manufacturing.
Kingsway can deliver up to three million sq ft of industrial and distribution units. While the grant of planning permission at Omega, Warrington, has brought forward another 1.6 million sq ft of industrial and distribution for development.
Other big sites include PPG’s Link 62 scheme at Junction 31. The 108-acre site can accommodate a range of warehouses up to 650,000 sq ft. Then there is Wilson Bowden and Waystone’s Summit Park in Glasshoughton where there are plans for a 150,000 sq ft speculative development. Letting agent is Knight Frank. Opposite this site ProLogis has just secured a pre-let for a 260,000 sq ft headquarters and distribution centre for pharmaceutical company TEVA on a 15 year lease at a rent in excess of £6 per sq ft for both the 200,000 sq ft warehouse and 60,000 sq ft office. Dove Haigh Phillips acted for TEVA.
Another significant scheme to be brought forward is Logic Leeds, which totals 120-acres. The developer MUSE Developments is being advised by Knight Frank and Carter & Co. The 1.6 million sq ft scheme could accommodate a single unit of up to 1.2 million sq ft.
Then there is Sterling Capitol’s Capitol Park at Junction 36. Letting agent Owen Holder of Knight Frank says: “Following on from the Tesco deal there are 200 acres remaining with full outline planning permission that could accommodate a further 1.2 million sq ft of space.
“However, the developer is submitting a detailed planning application for a one million sq ft warehouse on the site. As far as I know this will be the only million sq ft shed in the country with detailed planning permission.”
Finally of the sites coming to the market there is St Modwen’s Melton Park near Hull totalling around 100 acres.
There are a number of built units along the motorway corridor. Nick Baker of Atisreal says: “There is Axa’s 204,000 sq ft warehouse known as Axis 62 in Normanton, as well as ProLogis’ Crossflow535 at Barnsley.”
Holder adds that there are a number of existing and refurbished units including Latitude Park owned by Wilton Developments at Wakefield Europort. The 140,000 sq ft warehouse is available through letting agents King Sturge and Carter & Co at a quoting rent of around £4.95 per sq ft. PPG Land has a 145,000 sq ft warehouse on the Euroway Trading Estate through King Sturge and Eddisons at £4.50 per sq ft.
Opus Land is developing a prime 120,000 sq ft industrial site on the outskirts of Goole. The company is transforming the former Fletcher Transport site into a high-quality business and distribution location. It will be ready for occupation in April next year.
Called Opus 36, as it is adjacent to Junction 36 of the M62, it comprises six single-storey units, ranging from 7,000 sq ft to 30,000 sq ft.
Andrew Duncan says: “We are extremely excited about Opus 36. We believe the refurbished state-of-the-art units, combined with the park’s excellent location, will prove very attractive. Interest in the units, which can be rented or bought, is already strong.
“All the units have extensive yards and parking and are fully serviced and secure. They are available in a combination of sizes and we will do our best to accommodate the needs of prospective tenants or purchasers,” he adds.
Mike Haigh, of property agents Dove Haigh Phillips in Leeds, says: “Rent is a key factor and with Opus 36 being able to offer highly competitive rentals, its marketing edge is clear to see.”
The agents for Opus 36 are Dove Haigh Phillips and PPH Commercial.