Time to think ahead

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Little available space and few oven ready sites mean that occupiers need to think ahead to get the space they need along the M6 Corridor.

Not to put too fine a point on it but occupiers looking for immediately available Grade A space along the M6 motorway corridor could be in a bit of a fix – there’s very little.

Tesni Thacker of GVA says: “Supply is limited, there is only about 1.6 million sq ft in units above 100,000 sq ft in the west midlands sector.”

And according to Rob Taylor of Knight Frank looking into the North West sector availability is not much more favourable. In Rugby there is the former Co-op building at Valley Central totalling 334,000 sq ft. It has 12m eaves, 30 docks and a quoting rent of £5.25 per sq ft. Letting agents GVA and Savills say lease length can be flexible.

North Rae Sanders is marketing one the largest second hand buildings in the country the 594,000 sq ft former Focus warehouse in Tamworth on behalf of London & Stamford. The building has had a £6m fit out and is fully racked with 50,000 pallet spaces. It has 10.4m eaves as well as 64 dock and 10 scissor lifts and boasts a 60m yard and parking for over 100 trailers and currently being refurbished to bring it up to standard. Joint agents are Dowley Turner Real Estate. Quoting rent is £5.25 per sq ft on a 10 year lease.

At Nuneaton the receivers have Attleborough House, a 163,581 sq ft warehouse on a 9.8 acre site through letting agents White Druce & Brown and North Rae Sanders.  Then there seems to be a massive lull in the proceedings until Goodman’s Citadel at Junction 10 of the M6 motorway totalling 321,000 sq ft. Letting agents are Bulleys, Knight Frank and Jones Lang LaSalle. A little further and there is Gazeley’s G.Park Blue Planet at Chatterley Valley in Staffordshire. The 387,762 ft warehouse has 15m eaves. Joint agents are CBRE and Lambert Smith Hampton.

The developer also has a 213,240 sq ft warehouse in Burton known as First Point, which is being marketed by Jones Lang LaSalle, Savills and BNP Paribas. It is believed though that this property might shortly be under offer.

One of the larger modern buildings available close to the M6 is Alto415 in Newcastle-under-Lyme. The 415,000 sq ft warehouse boasts 15.6m eaves, 36 dock and 2 level access doors, 56 HGV and 205 car parking spaces on a 20.4 acre secure site. Letting agents are Moriarty & Co, CBRE and Jones Lang LaSalle. 

Close by is Blackstone’s 184,910 sq ft Radial Point at Stoke-on-Trent available through joint letting agents Dowley Turner Real Estate, Moriarty & Co and CBRE. Going north from Crewe there are a few more relatively functional buildings such as ONE175 at Winsford totalling 170,000 sq ft of modern warehouse space at 12m eaves. It is being marketed by Lamonts and GVA at a quoting rent of £4.50 per sq ft.

There is also the 105,000 sq ft Maximus building being marketed by Lamonts and Jones Lang LaSalle and ProLogis 180,000 sq ft MW180 unit at Midpoint, Middlewich marketed by Lambert Smith Hampton.

With such a shortage says Robert Rae of North Rae Sanders: “Rents are going back to previous headline figures and incentives are dropping.” Simon Norton of Colliers agrees. According to Colliers newly launched Logistics and Industrial Big Sheds Rent Map rents rose by 25 p per sq ft in Birmingham, Coventry, Stafford and Stoke on Trent.

It would be hoped that there would at least be a plethora of sites for D&B but oven ready schemes are thin on the ground as well. At Junction 1 there is Hamdon Gate’s Central Park scheme which it acquired off ProLogis. The 20 acre site has planning permission for three units of 60,000 sq ft, 93,400 sq ft and 145,000 sq ft. Letting agents North Rae Sanders, Drake & Partners and Jones Lang LaSalle are quoting from £5.65 per sq ft.

Not to be left out, Opus Land and new development partner St Francis Group are surging ahead with infrastructure works at their Blueprint scheme at Junction 9 of the M6 Motorway. There is planning for a 474,500 sq ft facility on the 22 acre site. Letting agent are Jones Lang LaSalle, Cushman & Wakefield and DTZ.

Nine month window

These two seem to be the only ones capable of delivering within a nine month development window.

“Big shed stock round North West has a limited availability, if a site did become available it would have a lot of competition to secure it,” says Taylor.

Indeed Andrew Pexton of GVA notes: “The main land supply [in the North West section of the M6 corridor]is located at Omega which is technically not on the M6 but given its proximity this is irrelevant.

“This joint venture between HCA, Miller and RBS is now in discussions for a number of design and build solutions totalling over 600,000 sq ft of new build distribution space.

Omega is one of the few oven ready sites available. CDP’s 12 acre site which was the former westbound service area is able to facilitate a variety of uses/occupiers that are smaller in nature.

“The other main area is Stretton at the M56/M6 intersection where the Morley Estates Warrington Central could be brought forward for redevelopment in the short to medium term.”

There are other sites that could deliver in an 18 month to two year schedule these include IM Properties Birch Coppice that could accommodate up to 600,000 sq ft through letting agents CBRE and Colliers while Goodman is ploughing £12 million in infrastructure at its Hinckley Commercial Park Phase II. ProLogis has just acquired a further 33 acre site from Ryton Properties, extending ProLogis Park Ryton.

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