The popularity of the M6 corridor is emphasised by the fact that some 3 million sq ft of space has been taken up in the first half. Liza Helps reports.
It’s been a busy time in the northern sector of the M6 corridor with nearly three million sq ft of warehouse space taken up in the first half of the year in units over 100,000 sq ft, according to Lambert Smith Hampton.
Rob Taylor of Knight Frank says: “There are only two brand new warehouses over 100,000 sq ft at Lancashire Business Park in Leyland and other than those, occupiers will have to go down the D&B route.”
The 390,000 sq ft scheme by Lancashire County Developments consists of two adjoining units of 166,000 sq ft that can be combined to provide a cross-dock warehouse of 332,000 sq ft in total, boasting 12m eaves as well as a 50kn/sqm floor loading.
A third unit provides 50,000 sq ft and can be subdivided from 5,000 sq ft. Planning permission has been obtained for a fourth unit of 60,000 sq ft – currently available on a build to suit basis. Rents are from £4.75 per sq ft. Lambert Smith Hampton and Jones Lang LaSalle have been instructed in the marketing of the scheme.
There are good second hand units available and these include Crewe 2 owned by JTI that totals 92,890 sq ft where Knight Frank is sole agent. The building boasts 13.81m eaves as well as eight dock and one level access door, offices, heating lighting and racking currently set for 17,000 pallet spaces. It is located four miles from Junction 17.
Slightly larger is Axa’s Maximus warehouse at Winsford totalling 105,000 sq ft. The property is on the market through B8, Jones Lang LaSalle and Lamonts. Bigger still is Prologis’ MW180 at Midpoint 18 near Middlewich, just two miles off Junction 18. The 185,449 sq ft property has 12m eaves, 18 docks including six double deck docks and three drive-in doors and expansion land capable of an increase in size to 238,000 sq ft or to provide cross dock configuration on a 10.6 acre site. It is being marketed through Lambert Smith Hampton at £4.25 per sq ft.
Andrew Aherne of Lambert Smith Hampton, says: “The continued lack of supply and bespoke nature of end user requirements has led to an increase in the number of build-to-suit transactions.”
Indeed Steve Johnson of B8 Real Estate says that Legal & General Property and joint venture partner developer Barwood’s recently launched M6EPIC scheme has already secured a pre-let for a D&B facility. Plans have been approved for a cross-docked warehouse unit of 555,000 sq ft on the 31 acre site on Lockett Road on the South Lancashire Industrial Estate. A further bespoke planning application for an end user is due to be submitted shortly. Will Edwards, fund manager at Legal & General Property, says: “This is an attractive distribution development opportunity in a strong location, close to the M6, with little competing supply and considerable demand prospects.” CBRE, B8 and Moriarty & Co are joint agents on the development.
Such is demand that land available for development is filling up. A case in point is Omega in Warrington. Since December Omega Warrington’s (OWL) 575 acre Omega scheme near Junction 21A of the M6 at Warrington, has secured deals totalling over one million sq ft leaving just six acres available for development at Omega North.
These include lettings to Travis Perkins, which is taking 630,000 sq ft, parcel delivery company Hermes is taking 140,000 sq ft and grocery and food supplier Brake Bros is securing a deal for a 198,000 sq ft warehouse. Over on the adjacent site, Omega South, Asda is rumoured to be the occupier for a 600,000 sq ft £100 million logistics centre. Joint letting agents are Jones Lang LaSalle, GVA and Addleshaw Goddard.
Readily available properties become more prevalent in the West Midlands region of the M6 with a number of options both for buildings and sites though Robert Rae of North Rae Sanders notes: “It is getting tight.”
Available properties include 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. Then there is Blackstone’s 184,910 sq ft Radial Point warehouse at Stoke on Trent – a fully fitted out unit with 12 m eaves. It is available through joint letting agents Dowley Turner Real Estate, Moriarty & Co and CBRE.
On the second hand front there are a number of good quality buildings including the ex-Pallet Network unit at Prologis Park Midpoint which will become available in January 2014. It totals 312,500 sq ft with expansion to 470,000 sq ft. It is being marketed by Savills, Jones Lang LaSalle and Gerald Eve. North Rae Sanders is marketing the 211,594 sq ft Swift 211 on Valley Drive, Rugby, with joint letting agent CBRE. They are quoting a rent of £5.45 per sq ft.
Sites along the M6 corridor available for D&B in the Midlands are slightly limited though there are more being brought forward by developers. Those immediately available include Prologis Park Sideway where the developer can produce a cross dock unit of 530,000 sq ft. It is being marketed through North Rae Sanders and Jones Lang LaSalle. Then there is Opus Land and development partner St Francis Group’s Blueprint scheme at Junction 9.
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.
At Junction 6 in Birmingham, IM Properties has 60 acres of developable land remaining at The Hub that could accommodate up to 700,000 sq ft. Letting agents are Savills, CBRE and Knight Frank.
There is also Hamdon Gate’s 16-acre J1 Rugby scheme where there are two plots that have detailed planning consent for distribution facilities of more than 93,400 sq ft and approximately 119,700 sq ft, although buildings of up to 140,000 sq ft can be accommodated. Letting agents North Rae Sanders, Drake & Partners and Jones Lang LaSalle are quoting from £5.65 per sq ft.
Schemes being brought forward include Bericote Properties’ Bericote Four Ashes at Junction 12 of the M6 motorway totalling 53 acres that could accommodate a million sq ft in a single unit. Jones Lang LaSalle and Dowley Turner Real Estate are letting agents then there is First Industrial’s Prime 10 scheme at Junction 10 which could take units over 400,000 sq ft. The newest site to be brought forward is SEGRO and Roxhill’s 125-acre Rugby Gateway scheme at Junction 1, which can accommodate up to 1.8 million sq ft of space.