Developers turn to east coast ports

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Sites close to or within easy reach of the North east and Humber ports are attracting stronger interest from developers as more and more imports are hitting the high street. Such is the growth of these ports that developers are even speculatively developing schemes on the back of that premise.

“The proximity of sites close to the East Coast Ports, which now account for the lion’s share of import activity into the UK has resulted in a re-evaluation of the key distribution points nationally,” said Dave Robinson of DTZ Debenham Tie Leung.

IM Properties Kevin Ashfield said: “The growth of containerised merchandise from the Far East and China into East Coast and Humber ports destined for high street retailers has put a sharper focus on the need for suitable buildings along the M18 motorway.”

In fact IM Properties has recently bought Aspect a 11,382 sq m (122,519 sq ft) newly built vacant distribution unit at junction 4 of the M18 motorway, Doncaster. Acquired for £6.73 million from Scarborough Developments and Shepherd Developments, IM Properties has appointed Jones Lang LaSalle, and NAI Fuller Peiser to market the space at a rent of £4.75 per sq ft. The unit at West Moor Park alongside junction 4 of the M18 motorway, has 8 dock levellers and 2 access doors, an eaves height of 10m and floor loading of 50Kn/sq m.

NAI Fuller Peiser’s Roger Haworth said that ProLogis’s decision to speculatively develop a 48,174 sq m (525,000 sq ft) unit at Houghton Main in Sheffield owed a lot to its proximity to the ports.

He said: “South Yorkshire has an extensive and talented labour pool with a catchment of over 550,000 workers living within 30 minutes commuting time. Similarly the location of the scheme means that the East Coast ports of Hull and Immingham are easily accessible by motorway.”

The warehouse is planned for the 14.5ha (36 acre) site, which the developer bought from UK Coal in October last year for £4.3 million. It is due to complete in September. Joint agents CBRE and NAI Fuller Peiser are quoting £43 per sq m (£3.95 per sq ft). The building will boast 81 dock levellers, 4 level access doors a 50kn/sq m floor loading and 15m eaves height.

Another big speculative scheme to go ahead is Walker & Sons’ 305,000 sq ft warehouse called Doncaster South at Harworth close to Junction 34 of the A1(M). The building boasts 26 loading bays and extensive yards. The warehouse is being offered at a rent of £43 per sq m (£3.95 per sq ft) by joint agents Knight Frank and Fisher Hargreaves Proctor.

Other developments hoping to benefit include Gladman Developments’ Cosmic Park in Sherburn-in-Elmet; HelioSlough’s £50m speculative scheme at Wynyard, near Middlesbrough and St Modwen’s North Ferriby scheme near Hull.

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