Property round-up: Winsford Industrial Estate; MediaCity; PJM Property Investments; BES; LSH; Derwent Group

Former H&M warehouse

Property consultancy Gerald Eve has overseen the refurbishment and subsequent letting of the former H&M warehouse on Winsford Industrial Estate.

Acting on behalf of Custodian Property Income REIT plc, Gerald Eve undertook the significant renovation of the building, which spans more than 100,000 sq ft.

The work, which ended in March, took six months to complete and included the removal of three levels of mezzanine and racking, as well as the installation of EV charging and PV solar panels.

Within three months, Gerald Eve had put the warehouse under offer to online entertainment product retailer Zavvi (part of Zavvigroup), and the letting completed within six weeks of solicitors being instructed.

Jason Print, partner at Gerald Eve, said: “This transaction highlights how, despite uncertainty in the market, a quality product can still transact quickly. The lack of Grade A space over 100,000 sq ft in the North West means occupiers are incentivised to act quickly when the right product becomes available.

“Custodian Property Income REIT plc invested heavily in this facility and it has proved to be a great success, being let within five months of completion of the refurbishment.”

Javed Sattar, at Custodian Capital, said: “The refurbishment is in line with our ESG strategy, to improve our buildings for a more sustainable future and this has resulted in securing a tenant that aligns with our strategy. We are delighted to welcome Zavvigroup Ltd and particularly due to their own sustainable goals which our building can help support. Great working with the team at Gerald Eve who provided sound advice throughout.”

Leigh Amery, at Zavvigroup, said: “Compliments to the teams at Custodian Capital and Gerald Eve for the immaculate standards achieved through their recent renovation of the facility. The office and warehouse space provide the perfect platform to support growth expectations of the Zavvigroup businesses moving forwards, whilst aligning nicely with our ESG strategy.

“Thanks also to the teams at both Greene & Greene and Gateley Legal for the rapid turnaround on the legals, supporting the efficient transition away from the THG ICON facility previously occupied.”


From left: Ben Hey, Tim Wyer, Stephen Kirk from MediaCity, Dominic Pozzoni, Nathan Lang, Conor Walmsley from Colliers

MediaCity, home to some of the world’s most exciting media, creative, and tech brands, has appointed Colliers as part of its roster of agents tasked with filling its workspaces.

Colliers will join CBRE and Canning O’Neill in finding suitable occupiers for MediaCity’s Orange, Blue, White, and Tomorrow buildings, as well as future developments as part of the area’s next phase of growth and development.

Colliers has an 85-strong Manchester team providing a range of commercial real estate advisory services across the North West.

In 2022, its Manchester team leased more than 300,000 sq ft of office space. It already has a successful track record with leasing at MediaCity having advised law firm Horwich Farrelly over its 500-person company takeover of the 11th floor of the Orange building.

Stephen Kirk, head of asset management for MediaCity, said: “From the off, Colliers have got stuck in. They have great belief in the MediaCity development and its occupier growth potential as we enter the next phase of expansion. We’re very excited for what they’re undoubtedly going to deliver.”

Dominic Pozzoni, director and head of Manchester office at Colliers, said: “MediaCity has created a phenomenal, well-established mixed-use development that has attracted both UK and international occupiers, and we are honoured and privileged to be involved with the operation.”


Gaskell House, Preston

Two commercial properties near Preston that were purchased last year by a North West-based property investor have secured new tenants.

Units 1-4 Charnley Fold Lane in Bamber Bridge was acquired in 2021 by PJM Property Investments, while Gaskell House on Rough Hey Road, Preston, was acquired by MM Acquisitions. Both companies are controlled by Patrick Murphy.

Since then both companies have focused on various works at the premises and in negotiating and finalising terms to re-gear and reorganise the existing leases at Charnley Fold Lane, while Gaskell House has been let to waste management and recycling firm Recycling Lives. The leases range from 10-20 years and add around £550,000 per annum in rental income for the two companies.

The Preston commercial property team at Harrison Drury solicitors advised the companies on all legal aspects relating to the purchase of the properties and completion of the lease agreements with the new tenants. The team also advised on pre-contract negotiations and drawing up heads of terms for prospective tenants.

Commercial property consultants Eckersley acted on behalf of both companies as the agent managing the various transactions.

Simon England, partner at Harrison Drury, said: “We’re pleased to have guided our client through the whole journey with these properties, from pre-contract negotiations and the heads of terms, to acquiring the sites and securing new tenants.

“The new leases not only help our client secure long term investment growth, they give certainty and continuity for the businesses operating there, enabling them to grow and have a positive impact on the local economy.”

Mark Clarkson, director at Eckersley, said: “The estate management undertaken, including lease re-gears, will support the longevity of the various occupiers and secure further investment.”

The units at Charnley Fold, off School Lane, Bamber Bridge, feature a mix of commercial units and have been leased to occupiers predominantly in the logistics and distribution sector.

Ian Robinson Transport, an established road haulage company providing haulage services throughout the UK and Europe, has secured a unit at the premises.

Meanwhile, W H Bowker has expanded its operations at the Bamber Bridge site, where it operates racked warehousing and a large transport fleet that provides UK-wide next-day distribution.

In addition, Hanson Quarry Products Europe occupies land at Charnley Fold operating its ready-mixed concrete business.

Recycling Lives has expanded its presence in Preston having secured a lease at Gaskell House to create a new hub for its growing business. The new location, a short distance from its existing premises at Longridge Road and Redcar, provides newly refurbished office facilities approaching 7,000 sq ft and circa 50,000 sq ft of warehouse space for its transport department.

A third industrial premises acquired in 2021 by PJM Property Investments, the 32,000 sq ft Cuerden Green Mill, at Sherdley Road Industrial Estate, is currently being refurbished prior to be marketed to let.


Weston Park facilities

Rochdale-based BES, a specialist in the design and delivery of complex facilities for the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors, has completed a £2.5m project to create a new pharmacy and aseptic suite at Weston Park Hospital for the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Designed, engineered, and constructed by BES, the new facilities aim to futureproof the hospital’s drug preparation capabilities on-site, with an ATMP-classified environment that enables the production of regenerative medicine, personalised treatments, and the development of nanomedicines.

Working collaboratively with the client in the role of both principal designer and principal contractor, BES designed the project for delivery in two phases. This enabled the hospital’s existing pharmacy to continue operating on a business-as-usual basis until the new pharmacy was ready for use.

BES refurbished a redundant office area on the sixth floor of the hospital to create the new, high-specification Chemotherapy aseptic dispensing facility in phase 1. Following commissioning and validation of this facility, the hospital’s pharmacy team moved across from the former pharmacy, vacating that area to allow the phase 2 refurbishment of the former pharmacy as the new aseptic suite with sophisticated clinical trial (CT) and ATMP preparation facilities.

Working with the hospital’s user requirement specification (URS) and engaging with the hospital’s estates team and senior pharmacist, BES’s multidisciplinary team took the project concept design from RIBA Stage 2 to stage 4, delivering buildability and value engineering benefits. The company’s integrated design and construction capability meant that the need to maintain business-as-usual conditions and uninterrupted pharmacy services during the programme could be embedded in the design process, resulting in smoother project delivery.

Jonathan Morton, the BES engineering director responsible for leading the project, said: “This project leveraged our multidisciplinary approach to coordination of architectural design, building services engineering and construction, along with our collaborative approach to working with the client and end-user stakeholders.”


Windmill Green

Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH) will move to Windmill Green, on Mount Street in the heart of Manchester city centre, this month.

The new office space will act as LSH’s regional hub for the North West of England where it will continue to cover a wide range of service lines and market sectors.

Windmill Green offers a contemporary new workspace centred around best-in-class ESG credentials and boasts a ‘Platinum’ Wired Score rating signalling the building’s best-in-class digital connectivity and infrastructure status.

In addition, it has recently been awarded a cycle score ‘Platinum’ making it the city’s most cycle-friendly building.

LSH has invested significantly in its ESG and sustainability offering in recent times with the move further emphasising its credentials as ESG experts within the commercial property sphere.

Christiaan Flatley, senior director and head of LSH’s Manchester office, said: “The move to a new flagship location in the heart of the city centre follows a period of strategic reorganisation, during which time we have been successful in retaining key members of our team and have continued to identify and integrate outstanding external talent.

“Our relocation has been planned for some time and we have listened to what our team has told us is important to them, following a successful return to office strategy and Windmill Green delivers on all fronts. This new working environment with sustainability at the heart of Windmill Green further emphasises LSH’s wider ESG aspirations and will serve as a strong platform for further strategic growth across the region as we continue to service our outstanding client base.”

Adam Ramshaw, executive director and head of consultancy services at LSH, said: “The move to Windmill Green aligns perfectly with our current thinking on office space and is a strong reflection of the work we are doing in Manchester as we continue invest in strategic areas of the business.

“With this new office, we have secured a dynamic, attractive and collaborative space which supports our wider ESG ambitions while creating a working environment which will enable us to continue to provide agile solutions for clients, whilst also playing a vital role in the continued search for new talent.”


Artis Park

Acting on behalf of the Albert Gubay Charitable Foundation, The Derwent Group has let the final unit at Artis Park on Winsford Industrial Estate in Cheshire.

Existing tenant, the British Red Cross, has expanded its occupancy at the park taking the adjacent 13,548 sq ft unit on a six-year lease to tie in with its current two units.

The British Red Cross needed to expand its premises, in part due to the increased donations that it has received since the start of the war in Ukraine as it is providing essential aid to the country.

This final letting follows two new occupiers secured earlier this year with local businesses, H&S Electrical and Europlas PCVU taking units there.

Artis Park is situated on a 6.7 acre site with 13 modern industrial buildings totalling 124,500 sq ft.

James Maule-Ffinch, senior asset manager at the Derwent Group, said: “This final letting reinforces the commitment and satisfaction from our existing tenants in our management of the scheme.

“Less than 12 months since the Albert Gubay Charitable Foundation’s acquisition of the park, the scheme is now a fully income-producing asset providing a maximum return for the charity’s causes.”

Legat Owen and Gerald Eve are the retained letting agents.

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