Frontier Estates is rumoured to be close to buying the IKEA site at Grange Park, Northampton, for a sum believed to be around £600,000 per acre.
Ikea had hoped to build a 328,000 sq ft store on land near Saxon Avenue in Grange Park with the creation of 600 jobs, but the proposals were put on hold in 2004 after both South Northamptonshire Council and Northampton Borough Council raised objections.
IKEA threw in the towel in January this year and announced it would build in Milton Keynes instead. IKEA has been trying to sell the Grange Park site since.
If that’s the case, it represents a leap in values. Research by Lambert smith Hampton puts land prices in Northampton at around £400,000 per acre.
Frontier is one-third owned by Palmer Capital Partners, whose Ray Palmer was formerly chief executive of property consultant Lambert Smith Hampton.
Frontier specialises in the demolition and remediation of sites with industrial histories.
Recent projects include the £500,000 per acre remediation of the former Sun Print Works site in Watford; the 24-month filling and development of a 20-acre chalk quarry in Thurrock; and the ongoing demolition remediation and redevelopment of the 95-acre former Imperial Metals site adjacent to Spaghetti Junction, now known as The Hub Birmingham.
As Logistics Manager went to press, neither Frontier nor IKEA would comment on the Grange Park deal.
For more on the M1 South, see page 45.