Northampton: Off centre

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The East Midlands accounted for 17 per cent of the grade A floor space taken up during the first half of 2011, according to Jones Lang LaSalle’s latest UK Industrial & Logistics report.

However, overall take-up of grade A space during the period was 52 per cent lower than in the second half of 2010, potentially due to the fact that availability fell by eight per cent during that time. Preliminary estimates for Q3 show the slowdown in take-up has continued.

In Northampton specifically, the market is generally moving into under-supply. “We’re now entering a phase of little standing stock with nothing coming forward to replace it and nothing likely to be built for the next 24 months,” says John Allen of Dowley Turner Real Estate.

One of the last remaining existing buildings of any size is unit DC139 at ProLogis Park Pineham, but even that is under offer. The 139,580 sq ft facility is being marketed at £5.75 per sq ft. It has 12 dock levellers, two level access doors, a 50 kN/ sq m floor loading and 12.5m underside haunch height. 

There is also a build-to-suit option for a 104,541 sq ft unit, including 4,997 sq ft of two-storey offices, in Zone C Plot 1 of the site, which is located at Junction 15A of the M1 motorway on the outskirts of Northampton.

The park already counts Sainsbury’s, 99p Stores and BMW among its residents. Burbage Realty and Readings Hope & Mann are letting agents.

There is also 120,000 sq ft at Gambrel Road in the Westgate Interchange Industrial area, which is located just north of the A45 offering access to Junctions 15 and 16 of the M1 motorway, as well as access to Junction 15A from the A5078/843 dual carriageway.

The building it a two bay, single storey warehouse unit with 7.6m minimum eaves height, seven dock level doors and three ground level access doors. CBRE and Altus Edwin Hill are joint letting agents.

“In this market of under-supply, design and build is becoming more relevant but occupiers will need to commit further,” says Allen. “We’re moving from a market where occupiers could get a ten-year lease with a break at year five, or even a five-year lease, but with D&B occupiers have to commit to ten to 15-year leases as there is no value created for developers in agreeing to short-term leases. On the plus side, if occupiers can commit they will get exactly what they want and there are a number of well-connected options.

Evander Properties’ Grange Park scheme has now been granted planning permission by West Northamptonshire Development Corporation. The 348,000 sq ft facility is being funded by British Airways Pension Trustees and will be built to a BREEAM “Excellent” rating.

The facility will have a 12m clear internal height, five level access and 32 dock level access doors, and a 50 kN/sq m floor loading. There is room for 37 truck parking places and 270 car parking spaces with dedicated access.

It is situated less than half a mile from Junction 15 of the M1 motorway. Dowley Turner Real Estate and Budworth Hardcastle are joint agents.

Nearby, the 95-acre G.Park Crick site has the potential for a 1.1m sq ft unit with 15m clear internal height, 157 dock level and 11 level access doors, and the possibility of a dedicated rail container yard. It can handle 198,000 pallets in conventional aisles, or up to 306,240 if a narrow aisle system is used. There are 187 lorry parking bays, 196 lorry loading bays, 36 dedicated parking spaces and room for 606 cars.

The site is being designed to achieve a BREEAM “Outstanding” rating and to exceed all applicable Plan A metrics and the UK government’s Climate Change Bill targets for 2020 and 2050. Gazeley predicts it can save potential occupiers up to £400,000 a year in operational energy costs by implementing initiatives such as T5 and T8 efficient lighting, under-floor heating in the warehouse, water saving devices, occupancy detection and airtight envelope construction.

The site already houses a 260,000 sq ft facility for Butcher’s Pet Care which the company took on a pre-let basis on a 20-year lease.

The site offers immediate access to the M1 motorway at Junction 18, with close proximity to the DIRFT terminal.

Dowley Turner Real Estate and CBRE are joint letting agents.

There are also a number of second-hand options including Tesco’s former Brackmills facility which will be coming back onto the market following the news that the supermarket giant has taken 800,000 sq ft at ProLogis’s DIRFT site earlier this year The warehouse will be marketed by Lambert Smith Hampton.

Logistics Manager, December 2011

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